A Look Inside Colin Kaepernick’s Chicago “Know Your Rights” Camp

A Look Inside Colin Kaepernick’s Chicago “Know Your Rights” Camp

May 08, 2017 0 Comments

Written by Evan F. Moore

Arming youth with silent weapons to fight hidden wars

Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp came to Chicago at a crucial time.

A few weeks earlier, I had a Twitter discussion with a former Chicago Tribune colleague about the city’s violence. We talked about how people who are most affected by shootings can channel the outrage into some sort of social change.

And Mother’s Day is coming up. Last year, eight people were murdered, while another 46 were wounded in shootings across the city that weekend. Multiple local media outlets reported that the Chicago Police Department said it was the city’s most violent weekend in eight months at that time.

Kaepernick’s camp gave Chicago’s marginalized black and brown communities a blueprint to help themselves.

“We want to give you the tools to uplift yourselves and uplift your communities. It’s going to be you who is going to change your communities,” Kaepernick told the campers.

Over 200 students from the Chicago area packed into the auditorium of The DuSable Museum of African American History last Saturday on Chicago’s South Side. The museum is named after Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, a Haitian man was the first non-Indian settler of Chicago.

The camp was the third one Kaepernick and his foundation held since last season (Oakland and New York).

The camp had breakout sessions that gave the campers advice on how to deal with police officers when detained, financial literacy, holistic health and college preparation among other things.

The camp’s tenets are as follows:

  1. You have the right to be free.
  2. You have the right to be healthy.
  3. You have the right to be brilliant.
  4. You have the right to be safe.
  5. You have the right be loved.
  6. You have the right to be courageous.
  7. You have the right to be alive.
  8. You have the right to be trusted.
  9. You have the right to be educated.
  10. You have the right to know your rights.

The list of rights is an adaptation of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense’s Ten-Point Plan.

One of the sessions gave the campers a detailed history of why Chicago is America’s most segregated city, while another told the campers the perils of processed food and why there’s so many fast foods restaurants in black and brown communities.

After the camp, Kaepernick gave out back packs that contained ancestry kits and a copy of the Autobiography of Malcolm X.

It seems that the moment that Kaepernick realized that he hadn’t had knowledge of self was similar to the experiences Malcolm X had in prison when he converted to Islam, which is detailed in his autobiography.

“For me the growth in my knowledge through some of the research my woman helped through,” Kaepernick told the campers. “I was able to identify myself with… [read more…]