As anger over the death of George Floyd spreads into violence, fires and curfews across America tonight, Joe Biden asked “a nation furious at injustice” for calmer minds and hearts to prevail.
“Protesting such brutality is right and necessary,” the Democrats’ presumptive nominee said in a statement late Saturday as LA, DC, Chicago, NYC and other cities experienced rioting, looting and fires after another day of protests of Floyd’s “horrific” death.
“It’s an utterly American response,” the former Vice-President added of the death of another black man in police custody. “But burning down communities and needless destruction is not. Violence that endangers lives is not. Violence that guts and shutters businesses that serve the community is not.” (READ THE FULL BIDEN STATEMENT BELOW)
National Guard Deployed To L.A. Amid Protests Over George Floyd Killing
While his expected rival at the ballot box empathetically spoke to Americans for the second day in a row over the May 25 death of Floyd from a now murder charged ex-Minneapolis cop, Donald Trump stayed silent (even on Twitter) in the White House.
“I know that there are people all across this country who are suffering tonight,” Biden also said as cable TV followed once peaceful protests turning sour in the night amidst heavy police reaction and local officials trying to shut things down.
“Suffering the loss of a loved one to intolerable circumstances, like the Floyd family, or to the virus that is still gripping our nation,” the candidate noted of an America that has suffered the loss of more than 100,000 of its citizens from the coronavirus. “Suffering economic hardships, whether due to COVID-19 or entrenched inequalities in our system,” Biden stated. “And I know that a grief that dark and deep may at times feel too heavy to bear.”
As for Trump, the former Celebrity Apprentice host’s only comments on Saturday evening on Floyd’s death and the consequences of the fatality was to lash out at Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey in a partisan tweet:
The National Guard has been released in Minneapolis to do the job that the Democrat Mayor couldn’t do. Should have been used 2 days ago & there would not have been damage & Police Headquarters would not have been taken over & ruined. Great job by the National Guard. No games!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2020
It will be a long night.
READ THE FULL STATEMENT FROM JOE BIDEN TONIGHT HERE:
These last few days have laid bare that we are a nation furious at injustice. Every person of conscience can understand the rawness of the trauma people of color experience in this country, from the daily indignities to the extreme violence, like the horrific killing of George Floyd.
Protesting such brutality is right and necessary. It’s an utterly American response. But burning down communities and needless destruction is not. Violence that endangers lives is not. Violence that guts and shutters businesses that serve the community is not.
The act of protesting should never be allowed to overshadow the reason we protest. It should not drive people away from the just cause that protest is meant to advance.
I know that there are people all across this country who are suffering tonight. Suffering the loss of a loved one to intolerable circumstances, like the Floyd family, or to the virus that is still gripping our nation. Suffering economic hardships, whether due to COVID-19 or entrenched inequalities in our system. And I know that a grief that dark and deep may at times feel too heavy to bear.
And I also know that the only way to bear it is to turn all that anguish to purpose. So tonight, I ask all of America to join me — not in denying our pain or covering it over — but using it to compel our nation across this turbulent threshold into the next phase of progress, inclusion, and opportunity for our great democracy.
We are a nation in pain, but we must not allow this pain to destroy us. We are a nation enraged, but we cannot allow our rage to consume us. We are a nation exhausted, but we will not allow our exhaustion to defeat us.
As President, I will help lead this conversation — and more importantly, I will listen. I will keep the commitment I made to George’s brother, Philonise, that George will not just be a hashtag. We must and will get to a place where everyone, regardless of race, believes that “to protect and serve” means to protect and serve them. Only by standing together will we rise stronger than before. More equal, more just, more hopeful — and that much closer to our more perfect union.
Please stay safe. Please take care of each other.