Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is calling out President Donald Trump for a lack of leadership as Black Lives Matters protesters call for justice and an end to racial inequality following the death of George Floyd in police custody last week. The actor spoke passionately in an eight-minute video, which did not use Trump's name but addressed him directly from the start.
"Where are you? Where is our leader? Where are you? Where is our leader at this time?" he asked. "At this time when our country is down on its knees, begging, pleading, hurt, angry, frustrated, in pain, begging and pleading with its arms out just wanting to be heard."
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Johnson then addressed people who have been countering Black Lives Matter with "All Lives Matter," explaining that the social movement doesn't diminish the worth of other people just because it focuses on the injustices perpetrated on the black community. "Of course all lives matter, every single one. All lives matter because we as Americans we believe in inclusivity, we believe in acceptance, we believe in human rights, we believe in equality for all. That's what we believe in. So of course all lives matter," he said. "But in this moment right now, this defining, pivotal, explosive moment where our country is down on its knees, the floorboards of our country are becoming unhinged, in this moment, we must say the words, black lives matter."
The Jumanji actor spoke out against the military force "that has been deployed on our own people," saying that while looters and criminals should be arrested, protesters need to be listened to, not treated violently. "You would be surprised how people in pain would respond when you say, 'I care about you.' When you say to them, 'I'm listening to you,'" he said. Johnson also thanked protesters around the world who have stood with their American brothers and sisters "in our fight for equality, to normalize equality."
The former WWE star added that while he might not be the president, he is "a man and I'm a father who cares so deeply about my family, about my children, and the world that they will live in." He continued, "I care so deeply about our country and every single person in it. That's who I am. I am a man who is frustrated, I'm disappointed, I'm angry. But I'm also doing my best to stay focused and as calm as I can possibly be in the pocket to make the best decision for my family and make the best decisions for our country."
"As we continue to wait for that leader to emerge, I would recommend to all of you that we must become the leaders we're looking for. We become our own leaders because we're doing it now," Johnson concluded. "The process to change has already begun. You can feel it."