“I will seek to heal the racial wounds that have long plagued this country – not use them for political gain,” Biden plans to say, according to excerpts of the speech released by the campaign.
“I’ll do my job and take responsibility. I won’t blame others. I’ll never forget that the job isn’t about me,” he said.
The speech comes amid ongoing protests and unrest following Floyd’s death. On Monday evening, federal officers used tear gas and flash grenades to clear the area around the White House so Trump could stage a photo op in front of an historic church in Lafayette Square.
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“When peaceful protestors are dispersed by the order of the President from the doorstep of the people’s house, the White House— using tear gas and flash grenades— in order to stage a photo op at a noble church, we can be forgiven for believing that the president is more interested in power than in principle,” Biden said.
“More interested in serving the passions of his base than the needs of the people in his care. For that’s what the presidency is: a duty of care—to all of us, not just our voters, not just our donors, but all of us.”
Biden called Floyd’s death a “wake-up call for our nation, for all of us.”
“’I can’t breathe.’ ‘I can’t breathe.’ George Floyd’s last words. But they didn’t die with him. They’re still being heard. They’re echoing across this nation.
“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.”
The speech likely will be seen as a contrast to the law-and-order approach that Trump has taken to the response, as he threatened to send in the military to states that do not do enough to curb unrest.