The first meeting of Colin Kaepernick’s “Know Your Rights” youth camp took place this past week.
The camp, free to the hundreds of black and Latino children that attended from the Oakland area had, according to the New York Daily News’ Shaun King, the aim of “teaching minority children how to deal with racial discrimination, police brutality and a variety of other social issues.”
Kaepernick told the social justice campers, “We’re here today to fight back and give you all lessons to combat the oppressive issues that our people face on a daily basis. We’re here to give you tools to help you succeed. We’re going to give you knowledge on policing history, what the systems of policing in America were based on, and we’re also going to teach you skills to make sure you always make it home safely.”
The Black Panther influence primarily comes via the camp’s usage of a 10-point plan, a la the 10-point plan championed by the Black Panthers in the 1960s, and lists rights such as the right to be free, healthy, safe, and educated amongst others. In the version the Black Panthers offered a half-century ago, the group called for reparations for African Americans, a release of all incarcerated black men, and a blanket exemption from military service for blacks.
Keapernick went on to explain his excitement and vision for the camp to ESPN’s The Undefeated, “It’s exciting for me because I see a lot of hope, I see a lot of what is to come. And if you look at a lot of movements in past history, it started at a youth level and has built. And that’s really where change is created, is when youth come up and they’re built in that culture of, ‘I know what this means, I know why this is happening and I also know how to help create change now.’”
Nor does Kaepernick envision his camp confined to just the Bay Area. The 49ers QB explained his goals for the camp to the New York Daily News. “What we’ve done here today in Oakland,” he claimed, “we want to do all over the country, in cities all over this country, by bringing together local leaders, local activists and local youth, and not only giving them the skills and lessons they need, but we want to show them how much we love and value them.”
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter: @themightygwinn