The Rock Condemns Trump’s Absentee Leadership In Powerful Speech
Dwayne Johnson has condemned President Trump for being absent and unhelpful as Black Lives Matter protests continue across the US.
The Rock discussed the movement and the president’s response to it in a video lasting almost eight and half minutes – roughly the same amount of time George Floyd was pinned down by former officer Derek Chauvin before he lost consciousness and later died.
Johnson doesn’t typically vocalise his opinions on politics, but as activists take to the streets to raise awareness and risk being pepper sprayed and hit with rubber bullets as they do so, the former WWE star decided to speak up.
Though Johnson didn’t mention Trump by name, it was clear he was talking about the POTUS.
He addressed Trump on the president’s favourite social media platform, Twitter, saying:
Where are you? Where is our leader at this time? This time where 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, begging and pleading and praying for change…
Where is our compassionate leader, who’s going to step up to our country, who’s down on its knees, and extend a hand and say, ‘You stand up, stand up with me because I got you. I hear you, I’m listening to you. And you have my word that I’m going to do everything in my power, until my dying day, my last breath, to do everything I can to create the change that is needed, to normalise equality because Black Lives Matter’?
See Johnson’s speech here:
Johnson went on to say Americans believe in inclusivity, acceptance, human rights and equality for all, so ‘of course all lives matter’, but he argued that ‘in this moment we must say the words Black Lives Matter’.
Rather than giving any indication that he understands why people are taking action in the wake of Floyd’s death, Trump has been criticised for using police to clear protesters and for refusing to address the nation, despite continually sharing tweets about the protests.
Johnson addressed Trump’s decision to deploy the military, questioning why the president is using the force against protesters who are are ‘begging, pleading [and] in pain’, rather than simply listening to them.
Johnson thanked those around the world who have joined the fight for equality, before adding that he is disappointed and angry but doing his best to ‘stay focused’ and make the best decisions for his country.
As we continue to wait for that leader to emerge, I recommend to all of you that we must become the leaders we’re looking for. We become our own leaders.
Johnson asked the president again: ‘Where are you?’, before bringing his video to a close with the empowering words: ‘We got this.’
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Past few days I’ve been stunned trying make sense of George Floyd’s death. The video. The plea for breath. The callous response. The racism. The killing. This is our ongoing disease. I’ve had cops in my family. Good men. And there’s a cop code, granting you the authority to use force if your life is in danger. But when a man is handcuffed, on the ground, no longer a threat, with your brothers in arms standing around watching and he struggles to say, “please I can’t breathe” when your knee is on his neck.. not his back, but his neck – cutting off his air. Cop code must become moral code. Ethics code. HUMANITY code. Knowing that if you don’t ease up, then that man is going to die. So when you decide to not ease up, your intention is to kill. And that’s what this was. George Floyd, said “officer I can’t breathe” as he struggled for air. He said these words a total of 15 times. Not once. Not twice. 15 times. These officers will be charged, I’m positive of that. Held accountable. But then where’s the greater accountability? The leadership to healing. More importantly, the leadership to EQUALITY. We ultimately win when we can normalize equality. I’m so sorry to the Floyd family. My heart breaks for you. Let the process begin now. #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd #NormalizeEquality
The People’s Champion previously expressed his condolences to Floyd’s family and urged his followers to help ‘normalise equality’.
As much as Trump might wish protesters would stop, the fight will not end until every single person understands Black Lives Matter.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk