Edwin Jackson’s Death Challenges NFL Protestors, Black Lives Matter

As the Eagles and Patriots battled it out last Sunday during professional football’s big championship game, a death close to home didn’t get as much attention as one might expect. That’s surprising for a season that was marked by protests about compassion and politics. Members of the National Center’s Project 21 black leadership network think it was on purpose.

Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson was killed early Sunday morning by a drunk driver. Horrible under any circumstances, Jackson’s untimely death stands out because the man charged with Jackson’s death (and the death of Uber driver Jeffrey Monroe) was previously convicted of drunk driving and entered the United States illegally at least three times.

Testing performed at the scene on Guatemalan national Manuel Orrego-Savala reported that his blood-alcohol level was at 0.239 percent (the legal limit is 0.08). He was deported twice – in 2007 and 2009. He was convicted of drunk driving in California. In other words, he shouldn’t have been behind the wheel or even in the United States.

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence called Jackson’s death senseless. The political left, however, is largely silent outside of offering hopes and prayers. NewsOne, a left-wing black news site, condemned Trump’s tweet for Jackson – saying it was only to promote his “racist” immigration reform agenda. It was also noted that Colts players knelt during the National Anthem in the regular NFL season.

Community activists affiliated with Project 21 are critical of the conspicuously muted or outright silenced left about this tragedy. Furthermore, they point out situations like this show the changing minority political hierarchy among liberal activists.

Project 21 member Ted Hayes, a community activist and advocate for the homeless in Los Angeles, said:

Just hours before the kickoff of last Sunday’s big game, the National Football League needlessly lost one of its star players – Indiana Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson. The 26-year-old Jackson and the 54-year-old Uber driver he was with, Jeffrey Monroe, were senselessly killed by a drunk driver on a freeway outside Indianapolis.

While their deaths alone are a tragedy, what is particularly hurtful to us all – and especially hurtful to their families, friends and associates – is that the drunk driver is a twice-deported, foreign national from Guatemala. He is here without official, constitutional Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4 government authority. In other words, he’s an illegal alien. This is the official federal government term, not an ethnic pejorative.

While the NFL season is over, perhaps concerned players can conspicuously “take a knee” in honor of their fallen comrade. The politically minded and socially conscious players should also call upon the President of the United States – who said that “[n]o group has been more economically harmed by decades of illegal immigration than low-income African-American workers” – and Congress to be more aggressive in overseeing the enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws.

Afterwards, they could rise to stand in support of the flag of the nation that gives them the freedom to play sport as a job and be well-paid to do it.

Emery McClendon, a tea party organizer in the Indianapolis area, noted:

The person who killed Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson and his driver turned out to be an illegal alien with a previous record of both drunk driving and deportations. Where is the outcry in the media about this tragic event? This lack of outrage from mainstream media commentators sadly extends to the usual suspects of the Congressional Black Caucus, self-appointed black leadership and Black Lives Matter activists.

Why? A black man being killed by an illegal alien doesn’t seem to fit the liberal narrative.

One would think that, after our President spoke so passionately about this tragedy, that these people would at least want to talk about the death of such a talented black man with so much potential. We should be using every avenue possible to bring attention to the problems caused by those who disregard our immigration laws. Why has this not lead to a renewed charge to build a wall or call for an end to the loopholes in this broken system that might have saved Edwin Jackson and Jeffrey Monroe?

Project 21 member Nadra Enzi, a safety advocate in New Orleans, added:

The recent death of Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson during a DUI accident – caused by a twice-deported Guatemalan who crossed our border illegally – yet again sums up black America’s waning role as this nation’s so-called majority minority.

I’d like to think professional progressive protesters and their hysterical high command would fill the streets and tweets with volcanic outrage over a young black man – strong and successful – needlessly cut down. But it happened by the hand of someone in this country illegally. That makes my consideration a vain hope.

Brown outweighed black in the new paradigm. Too many in the chaotic carcass of even my own community aren’t loyal to maintaining their own electoral or employment numbers in the wake of a calculated liberal and cheap-labor conservative effort that is effectively displacing and replacing us as the dominant minority in America.

Jackson’s passing is the latest case involving black death and brown deportation, where a murderer will likely enjoy far more support as a foreigner here illegally than this brother will as a citizen. That double-standard is a stark, nonpartisan fact that should unite black Americans.

We should act in defense of our presence during the Census, in voting, in elected office and the marketplace. We’ve only been fully enfranchised Americans for a scant 50 years or so. From the looks of things these days, that clearly seems too long for some.


Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over 25 years, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Its members have been quoted, interviewed or published over 40,000 times since the program was created in 1992. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated, and may be earmarked exclusively for the use of Project 21.