California Governor Gavin Newsom was introduced at his Monday press conference by the pastor of a black church in Sacramento.
He began by emphasizing his view of the cause of the protests, saying it was deeper even than the tragic killing of George Floyd. “The black community is not responsible for what’s happening in this country right now, we are. Our institutions.”
Throughout his remarks, Newsom seemed to be referring to President Trump without naming him directly.
“Our fate is tied to the fate of others,” he said, calling this the “time for more empathy.” Newsom then warned that, [when our] society is about dominance and aggression, this is what you get.”
Earlier on Monday, Newsom was doubtless part of a conference call between the president and the nation’s governors. On it, Trump berated most governors as “weak” in the face of growing unrest and urged them to “dominate” unruly protests.
The president also called on the governors to take back the streets by using force to confront protesters. He said if they did not, they would look like “fools,” and that the world was already seeing them as such.
“If you don’t dominate you’re wasting your time,” said Trump.
Newsom had a different take.
“Leaders…We better own up to our own responsibility in this moment,” the governor said. “I get that. I own that.”
“We are desperate for leaders,” he said, before noting that we do not need an elected leader to create change. “Leaders can be found everywhere. You don’t have to be something to do something.”
‘Dr. King didn’t wait until he was president of the United states to exercise his moral authority.”
“Each of us will be judged to the extent that we do justice.”
Watch his address below.
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