Colin Kaepernick explained that he protested the national anthem because he wanted to bring attention to mistreatment of blacks by police. But he didn't do a very good job of making his case. Kaepernick's position wasn't helped much when the best symbol he had of that mistreatment was the hands-up-don't-shoot myth perpetrated by Michael Brown's partner in crime, who, by the way, was the only witness who claimed Brown was trying to surrender rather than trying to disarm the police officer who had the thankless job of attempting to get Brown to move out of the street.
Nevertheless, the movement caught on but failed to win many hearts and minds.
Shelby Steele explained that failure wonderfully in Black Protest Has Lost Its Power. (Link goes to WSJ, but you might be able to avoid the paywall by clicking the link found in this Instapundit post.)
There Steele provided some history of black protest, then says this:
It is not surprising, then, that these black football players would don the mantle of protest. The surprise was that it didn’t work. They had misread the historic moment. They were not speaking truth to power. Rather, they were figures of pathos, mindlessly loyal to a black identity that had run its course.
What they missed is a simple truth that is both obvious and unutterable: The oppression of black people is over with. This is politically incorrect news, but it is true nonetheless. We blacks are, today, a free people. It is as if freedom sneaked up and caught us by surprise. ...
Watch out that you get what you ask for, the saying goes. Freedom came to blacks with an overlay of cruelty because it meant we had to look at ourselves without the excuse of oppression. Four centuries of dehumanization had left us underdeveloped in many ways, and within the world’s most highly developed society. When freedom expanded, we became more accountable for that underdevelopment. So freedom put blacks at risk of being judged inferior, the very libel that had always been used against us.
Steele tells a harsh truth.
One has to wonder if Oprah, were she run for president, would celebrate freedom or try to take advantage of identity politics.
1:44 PM 1/13/2018