Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) took to the U.S. House floor and blasted President Donald Trump on Monday for “lecturing” NFL players about patriotism while refusing to condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election.
“There are some in this country who want to sugarcoat the African-American experience,” Jeffries said, alluding to the president. “But the facts are the facts. In this country, the African-American community has been forced to endure slavery, rape, kidnap, lynching, Jim Crow, segregation, mass incarceration and a police brutality epidemic that continues to this very day.”
Jeffries pointed out that protests by players like Colin Kaepernick were “uniquely American.”
“Equal protection under the law, that’s an American value,” he noted. “Freedom of speech and expression as embedded in the First Amendment, that’s an American value. And yet there’s criticism coming even from folks in the White House.”
“I find this ironic because this is the same group of people at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue who didn’t criticize Vladimir Putin undermining democracy for the first time in our nation’s history — how dare you lecture us about what’s patriotic?” the Democratic lawmaker continued. “And so I just came to the House floor to make it clear, to all of the athletes across this great country who have chosen to stand up and confront injustice in our society, that there are members of the United States Congress who have your back.”
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