When Colin Kaepernick wore a tee shirt featuring the bearded mug of Fidel Castro as he explained why he won’t stand for the National Anthem before games in which he may not play, he didn’t help his cause, and undercut a brilliant game plan.
Kaepernick's initial implementation of the Michael Sam Stratagem was genius. Declaring yourself part of a protected class (Sam is gay; Kaepernick is a whiny race-baiter) immediately commands the fawning sympathy of the wannabe social justice warriors at ESPN. It extorts special consideration from teams and the league. Best of all, it allows you to claim victim status when your lack of talent forces them to cut you anyway.
But identifying with Castro saves anybody outside of Salon or The Nation the trouble of treating Kaepernick as serious person. He joins the ranks of other useful celebrity idiots who’ve done their bit to legitimize the Castro Brothers’ murderous prison state. If he really wants to protest oppression, the Cuban state's treatment of blacks, gays or just people who want to get news from the outside world would a worthy target.
But Castro's anti-Americanism means all is forgiven for his Hollywood dupes. It’s sad really, because some of them are very talented people (certainly more talented than Kaepernick). But there’s something about bloody dictatorships – as long as they pay lip service to Marxism – that makes celebs swoon, like:
- Danny Glover: The erstwhile Lethal Weapon star has been a Castro fan boy for many years. (He dug Venezuela’s thuggish honcho Hugo Chavez until the magical Cuban healthcare system somehow failed to save him from cancer a few years ago). He’s made repeated pilgrimages to the Island, meeting with Fidel, attending film festivals and generally putting the “idiot” in “useful idiot.” He’s actually been quoted saying state-run Cuban media has “an extraordinary will to find truth and to reveal the new human being, the new man and a new woman.”
- Jack Nicholson: The Joker apparently thinks intractable poverty and brutal oppression are as good as it gets. After a three-hour meeting with Comrade Fidel, Nicholson declared him “a genius!" Apparently having memorized the party literature in his (state-bugged) hotel room, Nicholson enthused, "Castro is a humanist like President Clinton. Cuba is simply a paradise!"
- Steven Spielberg was another Hollywood bigwig who got chummy with Cuba’s Maximum Leader. His long, long dinner with Fidel was “the eight most important hours of my life."
- Kevin Costner: Dances with Wolves became Schmoozes with Dictators in 2000 when the actor/director held a special Havana screening for Fidel of his Cuban Missile Crisis movie Thirteen Days. (Don’t remember it? You’re not alone.) “It was an experience of a lifetime to sit only a few feet away from him,” Costner said.
- Harry Belafonte: Besides tallying bananas and calling Colin Powell a house slave, the old leftist spends lots of time hearting Fidel. “If you believe in freedom, if you believe in justice, if you believe in democracy, you have no choice but to support Fidel Castro!”
- Sean Penn: Spicoli is the ultimate sycophantic celebrity suck-up to socialist strongmen. His pal Hugo Chavez is gone, but Penn traveled to Cuba as a “journalist” to interview Raoul Castro when he took over from his brother. He subsequently went back to chat with Fidel.
There are plenty more (director and anti-American conspiracy kook Oliver Stone thinks Castro is “very selfless and moral, one of the world's wisest men”). But, oddly enough, none of these socialism enthusiasts are clamoring for a Havana address. But Maybe Kaepernick can start the trend. He should have plenty of time on his hands soon.