Obama/Kaepernick Dream Team

Their faces bear a remarkable resemblance, though separated by 25 years. The coloring is similar. One has oversized ears, the other an enormous aquiline nose. Both are 6’4″ tall and love to play basketball.

President Barack Obama won his second Big Game in November. Colin Kaepernick won his second NFL Playoff game last Sunday in Atlanta.

Two kids of mixed race parentage raised by white people. Kaepernick was adopted by German Americans, Rick and Teresa Kaepernick, living in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Obama was virtually adopted by his mother’s parents, white Kansans who moved to Hawaii after his Kenyan father ran off and his mom drifted to Indonesia to marry another man.

Kaepernick excelled at sports in high school in small town Turlock, California, near Tahoe, but no major colleges wanted him to play football at 6’4″, 170 pounds. Only one college liked him, nearby University of Nevada, Reno, mainly because they saw him as a potential safety.

Barack Obama was an obscure state legislator from the South Side of Chicago who decided to run for the Senate after the Republican incumbent retired from politics. Nobody had heard of him, but gradually all of his better-known opponents self-destructed. He won the primary almost by default and then beat an incredibly weak Republican who wasn’t even from Illinois.

Kaepernick inherited the San Francisco quarterback job after the incumbent, Alex Smith, former number one pick in the draft, incurred a concussion. Coach Jim Harbaugh never liked Smith as a quarterback, and when Kaepernick played well in his first two games, Harbaugh made the audacious decision to keep Smith on the bench, even though he was cleared to play.

Colin Kaepernick

As I write this piece on Martin Luther King Day, I can only marvel how America has changed. When I was Colin Kaepernick’s age there were no black quarterbacks in the NFL, much less black Presidents. The symbolism of the Inauguration taking place on King’s birthday is compelling to me. It is a National Holiday. Obama visited King’s portrait with his family Monday, signifying the black leader’s importance to him – and to me.

Mitt Romney won 59 percent of the white vote and lost the national election big. America is a changin. I voted for Romney in 2012 because I preferred him on economic issues, but I still love the idea of Barack Obama – the mixed race kid from nowhere, with no wealth, no connections and no past, who became the American President.

Obama is the personification of the American dream in 2013, and dreams are truly important. Just ask Colin Kaepernick, the mixed race adopted child of German American parents, who dreamt in 4th grade that he would be 6’4″ tall and play quarterback for either the Green Bay Packers or the San Francisco 49ers.

For me, Obama winning the presidency twice confirms the dream of Martin Luther King.

Questions: In your lifetime, has racism declined in America?

Who is your favorite quarterback ever?

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23 thoughts on “Obama/Kaepernick Dream Team

  1. John Bressoud

    Has racism declined since 1956? Some things have changed a lot. Mixed race marriage used to be a big issue. Now it is accepted (and what beautiful babies).
    But some things have not changed. Attitudes about race have several layers. A black president? Some people can take it, some people can’t. A black surgeon? Now we’re getting personal. I think we still have a long way to go. The worst assumption to make is that racism is in the past and we don’t need to address it as a problem anymore.

  2. Rod vese

    Favorite QB = Joe Montana (Montana and I went to college together)

    And yes there have been dramatic changes in race relations in the US and around the world during my lifetime,,, I am hopeful that we stay on the right track, despite the resistance to change displayed by some segments of our society, and that things continue to improve. Certainly there is much more opportunity for all races, religions and national origins to succeed in America today than ever before. We have made a good start, but there is much much more to do,,,

  3. Josh Weaver

    Better brace yourself Lloyd, you know what happens when you make positive comments about Obama.

    Greg, for the love of God stop spreading that kind of absolute tripe. He was born in Hawaii, deal with it. If you would like to make an informed argument against his policy decisions I’d be willing to listen, otherwise you only make yourself sound like a lunatic. This is completely irrelevant to the discussion Lloyd is trying to foster.

  4. Skeptical

    I’m sorry Lloyd, but this blog post is rubbish.

    “Harbaugh never liked Smith as a quarterback….”

    What? Harbaugh chose Smith as the starter both seasons after QB competitions each year.

    “Mitt Romney won 59 percent of the white vote and lost the national election big. ”

    Um, if you quoted a machine to a customer, and he told you the competition was offering the same machine for 3-4% less, would you consider that difference “big”? The fact that the black candidate received virtually 100% of the black vote, should tell you that racism is alive and well, and we are a *long* way from Dr. King’s dream.

  5. ms

    Racism has definitely declined, but is still way too prevalent. And I don’t understand why?

    When I look back at my life and try to remember why I picked the color of skin I have, I just don’t remember making that decision. Same holds true for picking out my parents, country I was born in, and on and on.

    We need to remember that everything we have comes from God and that only by God’s grace, we are what we are.

    What makes the color of your skin, a color you didn’t pick out, any better than somebody else’s?

  6. arpad

    You must have someone close to you who’s ranting about what a racist nation America is because the plain and obvious evidence is very much to the contrary.

    Ignoring the whole “black guy in the White House” thing there’s popular culture.

    A relatively recent remake of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” had to stand all the classic roles on their heads to make the movie even remotely worth watching.

    Who are the rigid, narrow-minded bigots who see nothing but skin color? The black chick’s parents. Who’s repressed, takes herself way too seriously and definitely needs to get laid? The black chick. Who’s effortlessly cool and in touch with his spiritual and easthetic self without giving up a thimblefull of rugged masculinity? The white guy.

    That’s “Something New” with Simon Baker and Sanaa Lathan.

    Then there’s “Hart of the South” in which one of the central relationships is between the Mandingo-stand in, former pro football player mayor of the town and the whiter then white blondy daughter of the town doctor in a rural, Alabama town. The point? The relationship only contributes to the program’s storyline if race absolutely *isn’t* a factor in the big, wide world of the prospective audience so race never, ever rears its ugly head on the program.

    Head out to a shopping mall some weekend and watch the bi-racial couples utterly unaware of the taboos they’re breaking because they’re not. No one cares, no one notices and no one cares that no one notices.

    All this “America the racist” comes from people who are bitterly disappointed that they couldn’t participate in the Civil Rights era so they do the next, best thing from their infantile point of view, they pretend that there’s still a moral victory to be won and an unredeemable enemy to be vanquished.

  7. Um

    I seriously doubt Obama is 6′ 4”.

    And “Nobody had heard of him, but gradually all of his better-known opponents self-destructed.” More like he petitioned to have the sealed divorce records of his opponent, Jack Ryan, opened up. That wasn’t coincidence, it was dirty Chicago politics.

  8. Um

    Also, “Mitt Romney won 59 percent of the white vote and lost the national election big.” And how many blacks voted for Obama? Statistically, that’s where the racism is.

  9. J.O.L

    Hi Lloyd,

    I find this relevant to your question about rasicm in the good ol US of A

    By Patrick J. Buchanan

    Barack says we need to have a conversation about race in America .. Fair enough. But this time, it has to be a two-way conversation.. White America needs to be heard from, not just lectured to…. This time, the Silent Majority needs to have its convictions, grievances and demands heard. And among them are these:

    First, America has been the best country on earth for black folks. It was here that 600,000 black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known.. Jeremiah Wright ought to go down on his knees and thank God he is an American.

    Second, no people anywhere has done more to lift up blacks than white Americans. Untold trillions have been spent since the ’60s on welfare, food stamps, rent supplements, Section 8 housing, Pell grants, student loans, legal services, Medicaid, Earned Income Tax Credits and poverty programs designed to bring the African-American community into the mainstream. Governments, businesses and colleges have engaged in discrimination against white folks — with affirmative action, contract set-asides and quotas — to advance black applicants over white applicants. Churches, foundations, civic groups, schools and individuals all over America have donated their time and money to support soup kitchens, adult education, day care, retirement and nursing homes for blacks.
    We hear the grievances. Where is the gratitude??

    Barack talks about new ‘ladders of opportunity’ for blacks. Let him go to Altoona ? And Johnstown, and ask the white kids in Catholic schools how many were visited lately by Ivy League recruiters handing out scholarships for ‘deserving’ white kids…? Is white America really responsible for the fact that the crime and incarceration rates for African-Americans are seven times those of white America ? Is it really white America’s fault that illegitimacy in the African-American community has hit 70 percent and the black dropout rate from high schools in some cities has reached 50 percent?

    Is that the fault of white America or, first and foremost, a failure of the black community itself?

    As for racism, its ugliest manifestation is in interracial crime, and especially interracial crimes of violence. Is Barack Obama aware that while white criminals choose black victims 3 percent of the time, black criminals choose white victims 45 percent of the time?

    Is Barack aware that black-on-white rapes are 100 times more common than the reverse, that black-on-white robberies were 139 times as common in the first three years of this decade as the reverse?

    We have all heard ad nauseam from the Rev. Al about Tawana Brawley, the Duke rape case and Jena . And all turned out to be hoaxes. But about the epidemic of black assaults on whites that are real, we hear nothing.

    Sorry, Barack, some of us have heard it all before, about 40 years and 40 trillion tax dollars ago. This needs to be passed around because, this is a message everyone needs to hear!!!

  10. Big Al

    It really dosen’t matter where Obama was born; his mother was an American and therefore, he is too. He could have been born on Mars and he would still be an American.

    Racism has diminished but only among whites. I see it alive and well among blacks and other races. It seems like they want to “get even” for past transgressions. If it were the whites who were the slaves, they would likely feel the same way today.

  11. John "Jack" Frost

    Lloyd in as much as I am 92, I probably have had the longest experience with national, cultural, ethnic and racial conflicts and differences. I did miss out on the German outrage during WWI, but I was there when we corralled the Hyphenated Japanese into lovely camps in the middle of the desert. I was also there when we apologized and they accepted with good grace becoming real americans. They needed no congressional gold medals to soothe discomfort. During this same time I saw anti-semitism and the Jews took us to court to teach us a lesson. Some religious holidays are more important than others. We expanded our hates to a whole file of offenses against women. Again we were taken to court and taught another lesson, which is on-going. We had Irish slobs and Polish jokes. We have outgrown them all. Only a gauche comedian would try to use this kind of joke today except when we have a black comedian doing a black joke. Then there are no rules. Before addressing your question, I read about the Haitian revolution of 1794 to 1803. In short, the French colonized Haiti, built large plantations, improved agriculture and became the leading exporters of sugar and coffee. The planters couldn’t resist the wiles of of their female slaves and produced a generation of mulattos. They trained the mulattos to do all the hard management including the mistreatment of the full blooded slaves. There was a revolution and the first to be killed were the mulattos, the Frence left, the blacks took over and have never recovered. There are many american whites who are willing to cede both the authority and the work to run this country. For the French, the Good Times were not that many years. That is a high price to pay. For us, for some racism is not a priority. For others of us, we were too lazy to ever be concerned. That’s a wash. Some of us hoped that the divide would disappear. That was an illusion. This last election only proved one thing, If you give enough away to voters who didn’t earn it, they can be bought and they elect. We the planters screwed up.

  12. Jim Goerges

    Lloyd, I think Dr. Martin Luther King would be proud that a black man was voted in as president. I think that is where it would stop, I think it would break the man’s heart of how the nation has changed, the government taking the roll of the supreme provider. Some of us believe Obama/democrates/big government has taken on the roll of God, changing the landscape, not allowing in public schools to show Christian history and continuously supported by the attacks the ACLU throws at Christianity and condoned by new government policy, like healthcare not allowing churches (Christian) to follow their beliefs on abortion and birth control. So as this president has achieved milestones, it has ushered in things that are changing and destroying good things America has been. The violence is up, anger is up decension is at an all time high, these are not good times for many American’s and our president doesn’t care, it’s his way or the highway, look at congress if you disagree with this. The left will continue to play the race card, it isn’t the right and the left just wants everyone to think it is.

  13. clayton smith

    Dear LLoyd van Buren,

    I live in a town of many black people. They built buildings for me, repaired roofs, and shoed horses and they all owned their own businesses. Still people have accused me of being racist on occaision because of one thing I believe to be true. “All people are not created equal” I would draw your attention to The Bell Curve by Herrenstein and Murray that explored the role of cognative differences among races.

    Unless black people have the two markers for intelligence that interracial mating affords they are a relatively stupid race. Not Oprah, not Colin, not Barack, not Anwar Sedat etc., etc. but all the other blacks of sub Saharan ancestry with no white blood that, lacking a father in the home, leave high-school to sell drugs in the ninth grade and hold up a convienience store and blow the Pakistani clerk away for five dollars while the servaillence camera is pointed right at them. Stupid. Plenty of stupid people from all races out there but the blacks have an over abundence.

    Since the I.Q. of the average black male is ten points higher than a pure African male this intermarraige thing has its advantages for blacks obviously. So the real answer is to become Cuba or Brazil?

    When I talk like this people assume I’m racist….nope. Just telling the scientific truth.

    Intelligence should never be confused with learning. If I dropped you in the middle of a jungle in Africa you’d be dead in a week, because you lack knowledge not intelligence.

    The current feelings in this country that if we could just all get along doesn’t wash in the real world and has less has to do with hate than reality. For example the people who suffer most are the blacks. They are are told and expect they can be anything they want if they just work hard. Well I’m not ever going to be a basketball player and the current majority of blacks are never going to be Colin Powell. But we could stop teaching the blacks Beowulf in school and give them tools instead that they can use to make money and raise a family. Right now a less intelligent yet hard working black kid hasn’t got many options.

    To some extent we are to blame. We destroyed their families with our programs. We fail to teach. We failed to set the example of earning not taking through our stupid laws well intentioned but stupid….like busing, that alienated whites in heavily black areas who felt the government was shoving their views down our throats. So whites well off enough send their kids to church schools and the blacks attend public schools. They have magnet schools where high achivers attend…..gee mostly white. Wonder why?

    So is racism alive….I guess……but stupidity I know thrives for sure.

    We have failed these folks in the name of political correctness. And as a reward for supporting those who supposedly care about them (the Democrates) only more poverty.

    Well…..I care about them and I think it’s damn shame.

    C. Smith

  14. Bill

    Favorite QB,
    Hands down John Elway!

    Ohh and Knox, your B.S. Birther line is really showing your intellect, or lack there of Sir!

  15. Bill

    “93% African-American vote for Obama” – how is this not racism?

    If Hermain cain would have gotten the GOP nomination, what would have been the split in the election? I would wager the line would have held at above 90% .
    The huge majority of A-A are Democrats. So you argument just doesn’t hold up . Now on the other hand how many older whites voted for Mitt? Would you call that racism?

  16. Greg Knox

    The emperor is naked.

    Sorry – don’t cut off my head – I am just the messenger with the bad news

    I am much better informed than you would like to give me credit for – I love Mr. Buchanan’s article because it is so…damn…honest.

    Screw “P.C” – that drivel will be the death of our nation – how about we try something novel instead…

    Like honesty


    CNC Czar

  17. Gail

    Wow Lloyd, your following is bat shit crazy. I can’t believe some of the opinions I have read in this blog. Based on reading most of the above, America is still racist.

  18. Greg Knox

    Yes – as Mr. buchanan points out – there still is a lot of racism…but most of it is not from the caucasians in this country…we normal ones got over that years ago (heck – I grew up in the South Bronx – I’d have been either crazy or dead if I was racist, cause I was the only “white kid” amongst my buddies most of the time!)
    Sure – there are always gonna be nuts (and if you judge people based on skin color you are nutty, or stupid, or most likely both) but “playing the race card’…now there is a different, more insideous story…
    Yes – race is leveraged in the same way thay crises are…case in point the VILE way Obama and his ilk (socialists, that is, not half black Americans) are expoliting the poor folks in Ct. before the innocents are even buried…to ban the kind of guns…that WEREN’T EVEN USED IN THE MASSACRE…
    If you believe the tripe served up to you every day from the main stream media then I guess you deserve what’s coming…
    Take the red pill


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