Colin Kaepernick wrote in an essay Tuesday he revisited his own statements in 2016 when he explained why he knelt for the national anthem and what change he wanted to see in policing.
Under the subheading title “F—k Reform,” he wrote that his thinking “was fastened to a reformist framework.” He admitted that he “missed the larger picture.”
“The focus on individual punishment will never alter the outcome of a system rooted in Black death. I wanted change. I wanted it to stop. I wanted to reform what I saw. Yet, the reforms often proposed — use-of-force policies, body cameras, more training, and police accountability — were the same recycled police reforms consistently proposed in the past. And in both the past and the present, these reforms have done nothing to stop the actions that force us to #SayTheirNames,” he added.
In the essay, Kaepernick called for abolishing the police and prisons. The article was written on Medium as part of his Kaepernick Publishing series.
Kaepernick tackled prisons, incarceration and policing in his first essay and completely dismissing any calls for police reform to head right for the abolition of law enforcement.
“Despite the steady cascade of anti-Black violence across this country, I am hopeful we can build a future that imagines justice differently. A future without the terror of policing and prisons. A future that prioritizes harm reduction, redemption, and public well-being in order to create a more just and humane world,” he wrote.
Kaepernick wrote police officers performed acts of terror when they shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice and 92-year-old Kathryn Johnson. He alleged the idea of anti-Blackness has always been engrained in and is central to law enforcement.
“The ever-present threat of premature death at the hands, knees, chokeholds, tasers, and guns of law enforcement has only further engrained its anti-Black foundation into the institutions of policing. In order to eradicate anti-Blackness, we must also abolish the police. The abolition of one without the other is impossible,” he wrote.
Lastly, Kaepernick argued for the abolition of the police. He wrote that in doing so, it would give people a safer, healthier and freer future.
“By abolishing policing and prisons, not only can we eliminate white supremacist establishments, but we can create space for budgets to be reinvested directly into communities to address mental health needs, homelessness and houselessness, access to education, and job creation as well as community-based methods of accountability,” he added.