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Former Washington Journalist
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After Donald Trump had peaceful protesters cleared outside of White House Monday, so that he could take the short walk to St John’s Church to hold up a Bible in what emerged as an awkward photo opportunity to try to project strength in the face of national protests in the wake of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with reporters to hold a Bible of her own and ask Trump to help heal the nation in the way that his predecessors have in times of social unrest.
Protests, sometimes violent, have been playing out on the nation’s streets since Floyd, an African American, was murdered in the custody of four Minneapolis police officers.
Those officers have since been fired and one, Derek Chauvin, has been criminally charged. Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck until Floyd passed out and died.
“Last night when I saw the president hold up the Bible, I was thinking of so many things in the Bible that would have been appropriate in terms of the humanity of all people in our country,” Pelosi said. “And I was thinking about time. You know, time is such a most important commodity, the most finite of all commodities. The time it takes to make the change necessary. And it is a long overdue time for us to make some of that change that people were calling out for.
“And I’m thinking of the Book of Ecclesiastes, and in it they talk about there is an appointed time for everything, Ecclesiastes says, ‘The time for every event under heaven.’ He talks about a time to heal, talks about the time to embrace and the time to shun embracing — how about that for today. A time for peace. Let’s focus on the time to heal. Time to heal,” she added. “We have had as a role of president of the United States, role of commander-in-chief, president of the United States, the person who has a responsibility to heal. President George Herbert Walker Bush spoke out under circumstances similar to now and he said this was after the Rodney King beating, President George Herbert Walker Bush said the following: ‘Those terrible scenes stir us all to demand an end to gratuitous violence and gratuitous brutality. The law enforcement officials cannot place themselves above the law that they are sworn to defend. It was sickening to see the beating that was rendered and there’s no way, no way in my view, to explain that away.’ That was George Herbert Walker Bush after the Rodney King beating. President Obama said after murder of Eric Garner, ‘Right now, unfortunately, we are seeing too many instances where people just do not have confidence that folks are being treated fairly. In some cases there may be even misperceptions, but in some cases that’s a reality. And it is incumbent upon all of us as Americans, regardless of race, religion, region, faith, that we recognize this is an American problem and not just a black problem or brown problem or Native American problem. This is an American problem. When anybody in this country is not being treated equally under the law, that is a problem.’”
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