Sunday on CNN’s “Situation Room,” former Obama administration National Security Adviser Susan Rice said the violence during the protests over the death of George Floyd was in part because President Donald Trump demonized peaceful protests, including former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the National Anthem.
Rice said, “It’s really fundamentally a problem of our society still bearing the vestiges and the realities every day of racial disparities and prejudice, and that’s what needs to be addressed. We need leadership, Wolf, that is interested in our common humanity, in treating all Americans as if they count and belong equally. Not leadership like we have in the White House that’s invoking the language of segregationists and talking sicking dogs and shooting peaceful protesters. This is a time when we need empathetic, rational, constructive leadership that seeks to bring us together and deal finally seriously with the root causes of this racism and the root causes of our inequality.”
When asked about Trump’s tweet about Antifa, Rice said, “When he goes after journalists, which you know he does so on a daily basis, but does so in a moment when journalists are out on the streets trying to exercise their rights keeping the American people informed and being attacked themselves by police officers. We just had your colleague on the line who was arrested. We’ve seen local reporters being shot in some of our streets, with rubber bullets and everything else. This is not a moment for a leader to incite violence against the media or violence against peaceful protesters. To designate Antifa, a terrorist organization, fine, but let’s also focus on white supremacists who he called in the past very fine people. We have a problem here, Wolf. Peaceful protesters focused on the pain and disparity we’re all wrestling with that have to be addressed.”
She added, “We need leadership desperately Wolf, that doesn’t demonize peaceful protest frankly from Colin Kaepernick to those who tried to peacefully protest in recent days. We need leadership that listens, that understands that these are very real problems that we have to address. Here we are in the middle of a pandemic when over 100,000 Americans have died, many more than needed to die had we had competent and effective leadership. And yet we’re not focused on that, and we are not focused on the reality that among those 100,000-plus disproportionately were African-Americans and Latinos, people of color. We have real fundamental issues in this country that is long past time we address through new policies that, you know, allow people to have decent jobs, with livable wages, real education, real health care, housing that’s, you know, suited for all of us. There’s just a huge amount of work to be done, and it’s past time we do it. The only way we’ll get there is if we have real change in November.”
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