George Clooney slams Trump, calls systemic racism US’s ‘pandemic and in 400 years we’ve yet to find a vaccine’
Sharing his thoughts in a powerful essay, the 59-year-old Hollywood star reflected on the myriad of race-related incidents that have been protested over the years and on George Floyd's death
George Clooney has written an essay about systemic racism after a weekend of nationwide protests in the wake of George Floyd's death.
Sharing his thoughts in an essay published by The Daily Beast, the 59-year-old Hollywood star reflected on the myriad of race-related incidents that have been protested over the years, as well as the ongoing situation with some protests for Floyd turning violent, Fox News reports.
“Is it 1992? Did we just hear a jury tell us that the white cops that we watched on tape hundreds of times beating Rodney King weren’t guilty of their obvious crimes? Is it 2014, when Eric Garner was executed for selling cigarettes by a white cop who strangled him as we watched? His words 'I can’t breathe' forever etched into our minds? How many times have we seen people of color killed by police? Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Laquan McDonald,” Clooney wrote.
The Oceans 11 star also shared a lengthy quote from journalist Sarah Koenig, who dedicated her popular podcast "Serial" to covering trials in a Cleveland courthouse, in a bid to highlight the systemic racism she saw in the United States' law enforcement and justice system.
The Hollywood star then continued to explain why he believes racism continues to prevail in the United States, also taking a rather subtle dig at Donald Trump, who received backlash last week for tweeting, "when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
“The anger and the frustration we see playing out once again in our streets is just a reminder of how little we’ve grown as a country from our original sin of slavery. The fact that we aren’t actually buying and selling other human beings anymore is not a badge of honor,” the actor continued. “We need systemic change in our law enforcement and in our criminal justice system. We need policymakers and politicians that reflect basic fairness to all of their citizens equally. Not leaders that stoke hatred and violence as if the idea of shooting looters could ever be anything less than a racial dog whistle.”
In conclusion, the 'O Brother, Where Art Thou' actor said racism was, in fact, America's true pandemic, and suggested that people must vote to effect change in the system.
“This is our pandemic. It infects all of us, and in 400 years we’ve yet to find a vaccine. It seems we’ve stopped even looking for one and we just try to treat the wound on an individual basis,” Clooney concluded. “And we sure haven’t done a very good job of that. So this week, as we’re wondering what it’s going to take to fix these seemingly insurmountable problems, just remember we created these issues so we can fix them. And there is only one way in this country to bring lasting change: Vote.”
Violent protests against police brutality and racism broke out across the country following the death of George Floyd, a black father of two who lost his life at the hands of a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, after he placed his knee on his neck while pinning him to the ground for a disturbing eight minutes. The 46-year-old victim was seen shouting “I cannot breathe” and “Don’t kill me" before finally losing consciousness. He was later pronounced dead.
Chauvin was later charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd's death.