In a speech on Tuesday in Philadelphia City Hall, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden criticized President Donald Trump’s handling of the protests in over 120 cities of the United States. Biden likened Trump’s rhetoric to that of Southern racists in the 1960s while emphasizing the need for empathy.
“Donald Trump has turned this country into a battlefield riven by old resentments and fear,” said Biden in his speech.
“Is this who we are? Is this who we want to be? Is this what we want to pass on to our children and grandchildren? Fear, anger and finger-pointing rather than the pursuit of happiness? Incompetence, anxiety, self-absorption and selfishness?”
Biden pledged that, as president, he would address the economic inequality and racial injustice that affects the nation, in contrast to Trump, whom he called an “aberration,” destroying the “guardrails of democracy.”
Biden also promised that instead of “fanning the flames of hate” he will “seek to heal the racial wounds that have long plagued the country.”
“The country,” he said, “is crying out for leadership.” He also emphasized that the nation must “deal with systemic racism” and called on Congress to pass a measure that bans police chokeholds.
However, while Biden expressed support for the cause of the protesters, he also voiced disapproval of the violence and the clashes that have occurred between the protesters and law enforcement officers.
“There is no place for violence, no place for looting, or destroying property, or burning churches or destroying businesses,” he said. “Nor is it acceptable for our police, sworn to protect and serve all people, to escalate tension, resort to excessive violence. We need to distinguish between legitimate peaceful protests and opportunistic violent destruction … We are a nation enraged, but we cannot late the rage consume us.”
The death of George Floyd, a black man who died after white police officer Derek Chauvin pinned his knee on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, has resulted in nationwide protests fueled by outrage and grief in all states across the country as well as many major cities worldwide.
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