I despise trolls. Internet trolls do not bother me. In fact, I find them piteous. I feel sorry for people whose lives are so devoid of meaning or filled with privilege that their only respite is to attempt to upset others on social media. They are hilariously sad.
I hate the original trolls. The ones defined as “a mythical, cave-dwelling being depicted in folklore as either a giant or a dwarf, typically having a very ugly appearance.” The ugly monsters who hide under bridges and try to obstruct innocent wayfarers going about their own business. The goblins who gobble up billy goats in fairy tales. Those are the trolls I hate.
Jason Whitlock is a troll.
Not just because he is a rotund bladder of bile and fuckboy flatulence whose belly rolls are perpetually quivering from his constant shucking and jiving. Not just because he paints himself as a semiconservative black voice of reason for white folks to hold up and say, “See ... Whitlock is on our side.” Not only because he masquerades his Caucasian brownnosing as “intelligence” or “thinking for himself.”
Jason Whitlock is a troll because he won’t stop fucking with any black person who ventures out of the imaginary lanes America has drawn to keep black people in line. He has made it his own personal mission to castigate Colin Kaepernick. He wants to gobble up Kaepernick and shit him out. It is no longer a difference of opinion. It is malice. It is intentional. It can only be described as “fucking with him.” Jason Whitlock is trolling Colin Kaepernick.
On Tuesday, as the NFL prepared for its opening weekend, where at least one-third of its teams will be led on the field by shitty signal-callers who couldn’t carry Kaepernick’s jockstrap, Whitlock promoted his new show on Fox Sports 1 by tweeting this:
Warning: This next sentence will eschew all the rules of grammar, capitalization and internet writing protocol:
THAT IS SOMEONE WEARING AN AFRO, RAISING A BLACK POWER FIST DRESSED UP AS COLIN KAEPERNICK!!!
My stomach hurts. For a half-second, my eyes were teary. I am not a religious man, but first thing that slipped out of my mouth was “Jesus.”
Why is Jason Whitlock like this? I can understand and even have a reasonable debate with people who disagree with me. I make a point to watch Fox News at least once a week. I often read literature and arguments from members of the “alt-right” and white supremacists. If you dismiss out of hand every argument from the side that opposes yours, you are as stupid and uninformed as you might think they are. But I cannot have a conversation with a man who burns a cross in my front lawn. I can’t reason with hate.
Jason Whitlock hates Colin Kaepernick. Jason Whitlock hates black people.
To be fair, Kaepernick does not represent all black people. There are some African Americans who believe he should stand for the national anthem. Some don’t feel that his protest accomplishes anything significant. There are even more black people who would stand for it if they thought their protest would offend others. Most black people would stand for it if it cost them a multimillion-dollar job. Kaepernick should never be equated with all black people. But there can be no doubt that he did it for black people.
And Whitlock, who has made himself rich by trading—at least partly—in the same racial politics that he rants against, either allowed or asked a washed-up rapper to dress up and mock Kaepernick. Whitlock did it for his own personal gain. He did it so he could get viewers to tune in to his show. There can be no mistake—Whitlock either did this for money and fame (in which case, the only adjective that can adequately describe him is “sellout”), or he did this out of malice. (And because I cannot find a single incident of Kaepernick saying a bad word about Whitlock, I can only assume that Whitlock has malice for the protest specifically, or black people in general.)
Colin Kaepernick has become the face of the Movement for Black Lives in the sports arena. Twelve-year-olds don’t remember Muhammad Ali or Tommie Smith and John Carlos. They are watching Kaepernick in real time. They see what he is doing, and they respect it. Whitlock, in his infinite stepping and fetching, thought it prudent to allow someone to come into his studio and shit all over that. Then he thought about it and said to himself, “I think everyone should see this.”
I wanted to call this article “Jason Whitlock: Black Troll,” but as I typed, it became clear to me that Whitlock is not trolling Kaepernick for a reaction. If Whitlock disagrees with Kaepernick’s protest, that is cool. He is allowed to have that opinion. He is paid to have that opinion. He could bring up the subject whenever he wants and explain why he disagrees. Instead, he keeps jabbing at Kaepernick. Instead, he let a washed-up rapper mock the most significant single-person protest since Ali (yes, it was. Name another. I’ll wait ... ) while skinning and grinning as he gave the Black Power salute.
Kaepernick has never given the Black Power salute. He has never worn the Black Power glove. Whitlock’s malicious blackface cosplay stunt wasn’t just mocking Kaepernick. It was making fun of much more than that. It was disrespect for all black protest. It was a swipe at Smith and Carlos. It was a kick in the groin to Black Power. And Whitlock laughed. In front of white America. For money. For spite.
Jason Whitlock is all the trolls. He is a social media hater so full of hate and excrement that he can barely hold it in, so he spews it at Kaepernick whenever he gets the chance. Jason Whitlock would rather devour him. Jason Whitlock would rather obstruct Kaepernick than let him go on his merry way. Jason Whitlock is a monster under a bridge, and he does not want to let Kaepernick across. Jason Whitlock will burn a cross on your lawn. Jason Whitlock just burned a cross on our lawn.
I bet there are some people who found Whitlock’s tweet funny. I’m sure people who dress in blackface for Halloween thought it was hilarious. I bet the people who wear pointed hoods and swastika armbands didn’t see anything wrong with it. I’d guess that anyone with a vested interest in stomping on the necks of unruly, unafraid Negroes and keeping them in their place loved Whitlock’s shenanigans. But those are the ones who hate black people ...
... just like Jason Whitlock.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the person dressed as Kaepernick was a white man in blackface. It is actually Christopher “Kid” Reid.