Joe Biden spoke to the nation Friday afternoon about “the killing of George Floyd.” His speech came shortly after we learned the officer who kneeled on George Floyd until he lost consciousness was under arrest. The former Vice President said he personally spoke with Floyd’s family today. Something that the current president of the United States has reportedly not done. Biden addressed the lack of leadership in his speech, as well as the painful history connected to Floyd’s death. Here is some of what he said:
“Once again we heard words, ‘I can’t breathe.’ an act of brutality so element that did more than deny one more black man of America his civil rights, it denied him of humanity, it denied him of his life. …the same thing happened with Aubrey, the same thing happened with Breanna Taylor, the same thing with George Floyd…. It is the latest addition to the endless list of stolen potential wiped out unnecessarily. It’s a list that dates back for 400 years, black men, black women, black children. The original sin of this country still stains our nation today. Sometimes we manage to overlook it. we just push forward with a thousand other tasks of our daily lives, but it is always there. Weeks like this we see it plainly that we are a country of an open wound, none of us can turn away, none of us can be silent, none of us can any longer hear the words ‘I can’t breathe and do nothing.'”
“The anger and frustration and the exhaustion are undeniable. That’s not America. This is no time for tweets and no time to encourage violence. It is a national crisis, we need leadership now. Leadership that’ll bring everyone to the table so we can take measures to root out systemic racism. It is time for us to take a look at the uncomfortable truths. It is time for us to face the deep open wound we have in this nation. We need justice for George Floyd. We need real police reform… that holds bad cops accountable and repair relationships between law enforcement and the community they have sworn to protect. We need to stand up as a nation with the black community, with all minority communities. We need to come together as one America. That’s the challenge we face. It is going to require those of us who sit in some position to deal with the abuse of power… The very soul of America is at stake…”
Watch Biden’s full speech above.