Actor George Clooney is speaking out in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, calling racism America’s pandemic.
Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died last Monday shortly after being arrested for a non-violent act in Minneapolis. Video of the arrest shows white police officer Derek Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s neck as Floyd says he can’t breathe and pleads for help. Chauvin has been fired and arrested.
In an essay published by The Daily Beast, Clooney writes, “There is little doubt that George Floyd was murdered. We watched as he took his last breath at the hands of four police officers. Now we see another defiant reaction to the systemic cruel treatment of a portion of our citizens like we saw in 1968, 1992, and 2014.”
He went on, “We don’t know when these protests will subside. We hope and pray that no one else will be killed. But we also know that very little will change.”
Later, he noted, “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. We need systemic change in our law enforcement and in our criminal justice system.”
He also sounded-off on those in office, saying, “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. Bull Connor was more subtle.” Connor was a 1960s-era Alabama politician opposed to the civil rights movement.
In closing, George wrote, “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. 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.”