Black Americans Have a Message for Democrats: Not Being Trump Is Not Enough

Politics 2020/6/1

Black Americans Have a Message for Democrats: Not Being Trump Is Not Enough

Devean Moon at a protest in Columbia, S.C., in response to the recent killing of George Floyd in Minnesota at the hands of law enforcement, May 30, 2020. (Sean Rayford/The New York Times)

COLUMBIA, S.C. — In an on-camera address after a week of destructive protests, former Vice President Joe Biden pleaded with his audience to imagine life for black people in America. Imagine, he said, “if every time your husband or son, wife or daughter left the house, you feared for their safety.” Imagine the police called on you for sitting in Starbucks.

“The anger and frustration and the exhaustion, it’s undeniable,” he said.

Exhaustion. For many black Americans across the country, what a year this has been. The coronavirus pandemic has continued to disproportionately kill black people, and a spate of high profile killings in recent months in Georgia, Kentucky and Minnesota, the latter two at the hands of the police, led to widespread demonstrations nationwide.

Protests shook more than three dozen cities Saturday as crowds expressed outrage over the death of George Floyd, a black security guard who was killed in police custody in Minneapolis. Demonstrators shut down freeways, set fires and battled police batons and tear gas, the pain and frustration of the moment spilling out into the streets.

In Columbia, the city where Biden delivered his victory speech after the South Carolina primary just over three months ago, demonstrators Saturday said they were demanding more than what it seemed like an election in November would deliver. Not only justice for the death of Floyd but also change in political and economic power that would preve

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