A Black History Month resolution that was put forth to honor prominent Black Americans was stalled Sunday until lawmakers from both sides agreed to remove former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s name from the list.
According to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel state Assembly passed a resolution Tuesday drafted by the Legislature’s black caucus to honor prominent black Americans during February — but only after Republicans blocked it until black Democratic lawmakers agreed to remove the name of the controversial National Football League quarterback.
“A textbook example of white privilege” and a “slap in the face,” said Democratic Rep. David Crowley of Milwaukee, who wrote the resolution.
“Many of these people that you don’t agree with will still be in the history books that your children and grandchildren will be reading,” Crowley said on the Assembly floor.
Kaepernick, who was born in Milwaukee, has drawn a firestorm of controversy after he began kneeling in 2016 during the national anthem to protest poor treatment of black Americans.
Supporters say Kaepernick is exercising his First Amendment right to protest what he sees as racial injustice. Critics say he is denigrating the American flag and American principles.
Democratic Rep. LaKeshia Myers of Milwaukee said Kaepernick “decided to take on ownership of a problem that he saw, which was police brutality.”
“Whether you dislike the method that he used, understand that it is a part of America’s DNA — not just African-Americans’ protest,” said Myers, who was the lone vote against the resolution.
According to Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, and Steineke , the caucus wanted a resolution free of controversial figures so the entire body could support it.
“I think it’s important to recognize the contributions of literally thousands and thousands of African-Americans to our state’s history but also trying to find people who, again, bring us together. Not look at people who draw some sort of vitriol from either side,” Vos said.