“The original sin of this country still stains our nation today,” Biden said. “Sometimes we manage to overlook it, and just push forward with the thousand other tasks of daily life. But it’s always there. And weeks like this, we see it plainly. We are a country with an open wound. None of us can turn away. None of us can be silent. None of us any longer can hear those words — ‘I can’t breathe’ — and do nothing.”
Without naming Donald Trump, Biden made a reference to the president’s tweet earlier on Friday, in which he wrote that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
“This is no time for incendiary tweets. This is no time to encourage violence,” Biden said.
Trump later tried to clarify the remark, writing on Twitter that “Looting leads to shooting, and that’s why a man was shot and killed in Minneapolis on Wednesday night – or look at what just happened in Louisville with 7 people shot. I don’t want this to happen, and that’s what the expression put out last night means. It was spoken as a fact, not as a statement. It’s very simple, nobody should have any problem with this other than the haters, and those looking to cause trouble on social media. Honor the memory of George Floyd!”
Biden said that he had talked to members of Floyd’s family earlier on Friday.
Twitter slapped a label on Trump’s earlier tweet for violation of its rules against glorifying violence.
Former President Barack Obama also weighed in on the furor over Floyd’s death, issuing a statement in which he said, “This can’t be ‘normal’ in 2020 America. It can’t be ‘normal.’ If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must be better.”
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