Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, when interviewed by the press concerning Donald Trump barring the Philadelphia Eagles from visiting the White House, fired back at the reporters with a silent protest. He held signs saying that they are not listening with information and statistics about the terrible way black people are treated in America.
Throughout the entire conversation concerning the right for NFL players to kneel for the American flag, the issue of why players such as Colin Kaepernick were kneeling in the first place and the message they wanted to send got waylaid by the message conservatives wanted to send. Something along the lines of honor the vague concept of the American flag or the vague concept of the troops, even though it was American veterans who gave Colin Kaepernick their blessing to begin with. This hit another point of no return recently when the Philadelphia Eagles were barred entry to visit the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl win after some of its players declined to meet with Trump, thus hurting our very sensitive president’s very sensitive feelings.
Malcolm Jenkins responded to questions today by holding up a series of signs. He did not speak. Here are a few. pic.twitter.com/I01lfMwVgq
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) June 6, 2018
Again, the conversation came back to Trump and not the issues. Whether someone opposes Trump, whether someone likes Trump, and again the needs of the NFL players and people of color have been swept aside. Eagles player Malcolm Jenkins wanted to make sure this would not continue and made a striking show to the press when he sat in silence and unfurled four signs which focused on the media not listening and some terrible facts about how institutions in this country continue to treat people of color.
Malcolm Jenkins held up signs stating facts and statements such as:
“More thank 60% of people in prison are people of color. Nearly 200,000 juveniles enter the adult criminal system each year, most for non-violent crimes. #StopSchoolPipelineToPrison”
And another listed those who have been killed by the American police, and the achievements of Colin Kaepernick who gave one million dollars to charity (though people of a party, that is known for its lack of generosity, continue to call him every bad name imaginable). When the reporters in the room would continue trying to interrupt him, Jenkins would respond by holding up a sign that read: “YOU AREN’T LISTENING”.
You Aren’t Listening! pic.twitter.com/5ti8HU2Cq0
— Malcolm Jenkins (@MalcolmJenkins) June 6, 2018
Which is true. The people in the room are not. This issue doesn’t have anything to do with rich people disrespecting the flag or what have you, it has to do with a political party which makes no bones about its disrespect for people of color, supporting the institutions that oppress them and throwing their weight behind white supremacists, trying to shut up black athletes by criticizing them as subtly as possible. It’s the media’s job to listen to this, rather than what is making the president grumpy today.
The press in the room is indeed not listening, seeming to be antsy to get a quote, or, like a kid messing with the royal guard or a mime, trying to get Malcolm Jenkins to talk. But the message rings true. The institutions in America, especially those of criminal justice, are weighed against people of color. If we make this story about which football teams are going where, or how Trump feels about anything, we really aren’t listening to the pressing and immediate issues these players are expressing about a country that continues to treat people terribly.
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