As Donald Trump continues to fan the flames of racism and violence from his Twitter account, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo used his platform to show real leadership on this issue.
During a press conference on Saturday, the governor directly addressed the killing of George Floyd, but he also spoke of the greater issue of systemic racism that has plagued the country for centuries.
“How many times have we seen the same situation?” Gov. Cuomo said, citing a long list of African Americans killed by police officers. “Yes, the names change, but the color doesn’t. And that is the painful reality of this situation.”
The governor added, “That’s what’s behind this anger and frustration, and I share the outrage at this fundamental injustice.”
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) May 30, 2020
Gov. Cuomo said:
The George Floyd death was not just about George Floyd, and we wish his family peace and they’re in our thoughts and prayers. But we tend to look at these situations as individual incidents. They’re not individual incidents. When you have one episode, two episodes, maybe you can look at them as individual episodes. But when you have ten episodes, 15 episodes, you are blind or in denial if you are still treating each one like a unique situation. We have an injustice in the criminal justice system that is that is abhorrent. That is the truth. It doesn’t make me feel good to say that. I’m a former prosecutor. We have injustice in the criminal justice system, which is the basic purveyor of justice in this society. And it’s not just George Floyd. You look back even in modern history in my lifetime, this started with Rodney King. Rodney King was 30 years ago. We suffered in this city through Abner Louima and Amadou Diallo and Sean Bell and Eric Garner. How many times have we seen the same situation? Yes, the names change, but the color doesn’t. And that is the painful reality of this situation, and it’s not just 30 years. It is this nation’s history of discrimination and racism dating back hundreds of years. That is the honest truth, and that’s what’s behind this anger and frustration and I share the outrage at this fundamental injustice.
Gov. Cuomo joins Joe Biden in trying to fill the leadership vacuum
New York Gov. Cuomo’s remarks on Saturday echo what former Vice President Joe Biden said on Friday during a speech about the George Floyd killing.
“With our complacency, our silence, we are complicit in perpetuating these cycles of violence,” Biden said, urging Americans of all races to come together to address the systemic racism that Floyd’s killing once again exposed.
“If we simply allow this wound to scab over once more without treating the underlying injury, we’ll never truly heal,” the former VP said.
As multiple crises wreak havoc across America, Democratic leaders are trying to fill the leadership vacuum that Donald Trump has created.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.