Everything changed when the world saw George Floyd say “Mom, I can’t breathe”
Suspected Democratic candidate Joe Biden became emotional as he spoke to a black educator about the death of George Floyd, while speaking to the National Education Association (NEA), the largest union in the country.
Responding to a question from Turquoise Parker, a teacher in Durham, North Carolina, about dealing with the racial issue with her students, Biden spoke about meeting Floyd’s family before his funeral and the earthquake of change societal triggered by his death.
“I can’t breathe,” Biden said slowly, echoing the words repeated by the unarmed Minnesota man as he died at the hands of police. “Mom, I can’t breathe. What happened was the whole world saw it, they didn’t just hear it, they saw it. Eight minutes, 46 seconds .. . they saw it. They said, “Oh my god. ‘ Everything changed.”
He said the country was at an inflection point where it needed to eradicate systemic racism and underscored its police reform plan, which would ban strangulations and stop the transfer of “weapons of war” to police officers. He told the NEA that no one should go to jail for drug use and that the cash bond should be ended.
Biden apologized to those watching to be emotional, including NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia, Parker, and nearly 8,000 delegates attending the organization’s virtual representative assembly. The organization endorsed Biden in the primary and used his appearance on Friday to decide his approval in the general election, which seemed like a formality, with Garcia declaring that the “Trump-Devos agenda” had to be stopped. The group said Newsweek President Donald Trump could have participated in the recommendation process that led to Biden’s invitation to address the organization, but the White House refused.
Identifying himself as “Jill Biden’s husband” because she is a member of the NEA, the former vice president said that teaching is “the most important profession in the United States. It then quickly grew. turned to the subject of Donald Trump’s defeat and the “chance to replace.” Betsy Devos, ”the Secretary of Education. He said that as president he would favor a“ oriented education ministry towards teachers ”,“ not from the top down, from the teachers up ”.
The Trump campaign has responded to Biden’s address to the NEA, targeting the issue of school choice, with Republicans traditionally in favor of charter schools, and Democrats more inclined to walk a fine line due to for their support from teachers’ unions.
“Biden’s allegiance goes to the unions, not our children and it’s clear he took the black vote for granted,” Katrina Pierson, senior adviser to the Trump campaign, said in a statement. “In fact, 68% of black Americans and 82% of Latin Americans support the choice of school.”
Biden has in the past said he was opposed to for-profit charter schools because “it siphons money for our public schools, which already have enough problems.” He responded to a question on Friday about this funding issue from an AEN teacher.
Biden also criticized President Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic, saying he warned the coronavirus had to be taken seriously as early as January, while Trump “took no action.”
He slammed Trump for his much-criticized comments at a rally that his administration was looking to slow testing for the coronavirus in order to reduce positive cases, which White House aides said was a joke. The president then doubled down by saying “I’m not kidding.”
“It’s not about him,” Biden said on Friday, exasperated, saying the focus should be on getting the nation back on its feet.
Biden won’t know if he has official backing for the organization until August, union said News week, but he said the teachers have a close ally if he wins.
“You won’t just have a partner in the White House, you will have a NEA member in the White House,” Biden said, referring to his wife. “And if I don’t listen, I’ll sleep in the Lincoln room.