While giving a speech about the decline in this month's unemployment rate amid worldwide Black Lives Matter protests, President Donald Trump shushed a black reporter who asked about his plans to eliminate systemic racism. When asked by PBS correspondent Yamiche Alcindor why he did not have a plan laid out to address racial inequality, Trump put a finger to his lips and said, "shhh."
He then said that his plan was to have "the strongest economy in the world," saying it would be the "greatest thing that can happen for race relations," referencing the decline in the unemployment rate from 14.7 percent last month to 13.3 percent. When Alcindor countered, "Black unemployment went up by 0.1 percent, Asian American unemployment went up by 0.5 percent how is that a victory?" Trump waved off her question, derisively adding, "You are something else."
.@Yamiche: "Black unemployment went up by 0.1%, Asian American unemployment went up by 0.5% how is that a victory?"
President Trump: "You are something else." pic.twitter.com/1B5IqBNzWz— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) June 5, 2020
Trump also said of George Floyd, the black Minnesota man whose death in police custody on May 25 sparked police brutality protests, "Hopefully George is looking down right now and saying this is a great thing that's happening for our country. It's a great day for him, it's a great day for everybody."
After days of protests, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced Wednesday that the third-degree murder charge leveled against Derek Chauvin, the fired police officer who was videotaped kneeling on Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes before his death, would be increased to second-degree murder charges. The other three officers involved in Floyd's detainment — Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane — were also arrested and charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
Following Floyd's death, former President Barack Obama called for the country to "be better" as it addressed its "legacy of bigotry." While many people are wishing things could get back to "normal," Obama noted, "We have to remember that for millions of Americans, being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly 'normal' — whether it's while dealing with the health care system, or interacting with the criminal justice system, or jogging down the street, or just watching birds in a park."
He continued, "This shouldn't be 'normal' in 2020 America. It can't be 'normal.' If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must be better." The new normal, Obama concluded, must be one in which "the legacy of bigotry and unequal treatment no longer infects our institutions or our hearts."