Joe Biden has warned of the “open wound” of racial injustice in the U.S. following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The former Vice President spoke at a virtual campaign event.
“We can’t ignore that we are in a country with an open wound right now — a -wound far older and deeper than…George Floyd’s killing – and his brutal, brutal death captured on film,” Biden said.
“His final words, pleading for breathe. ‘Let me breathe, I can’t breathe.’ It’s ripped open anew this—this ugly underbelly of our society.”
Biden briefly touched on the violent turn of protests in Minnesota, urging peaceful demonstrations. But he acknowledged the anger.
“But people all across this country are enraged and rightly so,” he said.
“Every day African-Americans go about their lives with constant anxiety and trauma of wondering ‘Will I be next?’ Sounds like an exaggeration, but it’s not.”
“These tragedies, these injustices cut at the very heart of our most sacred of beliefs — that all Americans, equal in rights and in dignity, are part of an ingrained systemic cycle of racism and oppression that throughout every part of our society.”
“We need to make sure justice is real for the Floyd family, that the protections and the rule of law are real for every American, that officers in the Floyd case must be held accountable, including with the FBI investigation and independent Department of Justice civil rights investigation.”
“If we’re not committed as a nation, with every ounce of purpose in our beings — not just to binding up this wound in hope that somehow the scab once again will cover things over.”
“But to treat the underlying injury, we’re never going to eventually heal,” the presumptive Democratic nominee said.
Darragh Roche is a journalist covering U.S. politics and media