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Video: Joe Biden Addresses the Nation On the Civil Unrest Facing Communities Across America


See below for video of Joe Biden’s address to the nation this morning.

  • “The country is crying out for leadership…that can unite us…that brings us…that can recognize pain and deep grief of communities that have had a knee on their neck for a very long time.”
  • “There’s no place for violence…for looting or destroying businesses…many of them built by the very people of color who for the first time in their lives are beginning to realize their dreams and build wealth for their families.”
  • “Nor is it acceptable for our police, sworn to protect and serve all people, to escalate tension, resort to excessive violence.”
  • “We need to distinguish between legitimate, peaceful protest, and opportunistic, violent destruction.”
  • “We have to be vigilant about the violence that’s being done by this incumbent president to our economy and to the pursuit of justice.”
  • “When peaceful protesters dispersed in order for…the president…using tear gas and flash grenades…in order to stage a photo-op…we can be forgiven for believing the president is more interested in power than in principle. More interested in serving the passions of his base than the needs of the people in his care…That’s what the presidency is, the duty to care…for all of us, not just those who vote for us…not just our donors, but all of us.”
  • “The president held up the bible at St. John’s church yesterday. I just wish he opened it once in a while, instead of brandishing it. If he opened it, he could have learned something, that we’re all called to love one another as we love ourselves. It’s really hard work, but it’s the work of America. Donald Trump isn’t interested in doing that work. Instead, he’s preening and sweeping away all the guardrails that long protected our democracy…”
  • “In addition to the Bible, the president might want to open the U.S. constitution once in a while. If he did, he’d find a thing called the first amendment…the right of the people peacably to assemble…that’s kind of a central notion built into this country…That’s America…This is a nation of values.”
  • “The moment has come for our nation to deal with systemic racism…growing economic inequity…denial of the promise of this nation…we’re in a battle for the soul of this nation.”
  • We need action, will take the “work of a generation.” “I call on the Congress to act this month…starting with real police reform…no more excuses, no delay…If Mitch McConnell can bring in the U.S. Senate to confirm Trump’s unqualified judicial nominees who will run roughshod over our constitution…it’s time to pass legislation that will give true meaning to our constitutional promise of equal protection under the law.”
  • “We need economic justice as well…health care should be a right, not a privilege…expand Obamacare…”
  • “This country wasn’t built by Wall St. bankers and CEOs, it was built by the great American middle class…”
  • “I know what it means to grieve…the pain is raw, the pain is real…This president…is part of the problem…’when the looting starts, the shooting starts”…are the words of a racist Miami police chief in the ’60s…”
  • “I wish I could say that hate began with Donald Trump and will end with him. It didn’t, and it won’t. American history isn’t a fairy tale, with a guaranteed happy ending. The battle for the soul of this nation has been a constant push and pull for more than 240 years, a tug of war between the American ideal that we’re all created equal and the harsh reality that racism has long torn us apart. The honest truth is that both elements are part of the American character. Both elements. At our best, the American ideal wins out, but it’s never a rout, it’s always a fight, and the battle is never fully won. But we can’t ignore the truth that we’re at our best when we open our hearts rather than clench our fists. Donald Trump has turned this country into a battlefield driven by old resentments and fresh fears. He thinks division helps him. His narcissism has become more important than the nation’s wellbeing that he leads. I ask every American…look at where we are now and think anew. Is this who we are? Is this who we want to be? Is this what we want to pass on to our children and grandchildren? Fear? Anger? Finger pointing? Rather than the pursuit of happiness? Incompetence and anxiety? Self absorption? Selfishness? Or do we want to be the America we know we could be…and should be?”
  • “I look at the presidency as a very big job…I promise you, I won’t traffic in fear and division. I won’t fan the flames of hate. I’ll seek to heal the racial wounds that have long plagued our country, not use them for political gain. I’ll do my job and I will take responsibility, I won’t blame others…This job is not about me, it’s about you, it’s about us…to build [a nation] better than it was…build a better future…it may be the most American thing to do – build the future…We may come up short, but at our best, we try…”
  • “We’re facing a formidable enemy…not only the coronavirus…but also the selfishness and fear that have hung over our national life for the last three years…Defeating those enemies requires us to do our duty…[including] remembering who we should be…the America of FDR and Eisenhower, of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr…”



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