Former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday is set to call the protests initiated by George Floyd’s death that have raged across the country in the past week “a wake-up call for our nation,” Fox News informed.
According to parts of a speech he is set to deliver in Philadelphia, that were released in advance by his campaign, the presumptive Democratic nominee will also criticize President Donald Trump as being “more interested in serving the passions of his base than the needs of the people in his care.”
Biden – who’s traveling outside of his home state of Delaware for the first time in two-and-a-half months since the coronavirus pandemic shut down much of the country – will deliver his comments from the Philadelphia City Hall. His speech comes one week after protests started to flare in cities across the nation following Floyd’s death, who died May 25 while in police custody in Minneapolis.
The incident and the resulting peaceful protests, as well as violent clashes and rioting, quickly pushed longstanding concerns over police brutality against minorities and the broader issue of the country’s history of racism firmly back into the national spotlight.
Biden, who’s spoken out numerous times since the death of Floyd, will spotlight Floyd’s last words – “I can’t breathe” – which were recorded by a bystander.
“George Floyd’s last words. But they didn’t die with him. They’re still being heard. They’re echoing across this nation,” Biden will say. “They speak to a nation where too often just the color of your skin puts your life at risk. They speak to a nation where more than 100,000 people have lost their lives to a virus and 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment – with a disproportionate number of these deaths and job losses concentrated in the black and minority communities.”
And he will stress that Floyd’s words “speak to a nation where every day millions of people – not at the moment of losing their life, but in the course of living their life – are saying to themselves, ‘I can’t breathe’.”
The former vice president’s speech comes the morning after federal authorities in the nation’s capital – some using tear gas – cleared demonstrators near the White House to allow President Trump to walk to a church that was damaged after delivering a law and order speech to the nation regarding the unrest. Critics of the President slammed Trump for ordering force to disperse the crowd so he could have a “photo op” – but some supporters backed his move against what they called “professional agitators.”