Former President Jimmy Carter is speaking out about the unrest in the U.S. following the death of George Floyd.
Noting that he and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter are “pained by the tragic racial injustices and consequent backlash across our nation in recent weeks,” they said that their “hearts are with the victims’ families and all who feel hopeless in the face of pervasive racial discrimination and outright cruelty.”
In a statement released Wednesday, Carter denounced the violence that has taken place over the past week, as he said the violent protests are “not a solution.”
“We all must shine a spotlight on the immorality of racial discrimination. But violence, whether spontaneous or consciously incited, is not a solution,” he wrote.
“[W]e have seen that silence can be as deadly as violence. People of power, privilege, and moral conscience must stand up and say ‘no more’ to a racially discriminatory police and justice system, immoral economic disparities between whites and blacks, and government actions that undermine our unified democracy.”
“We are responsible for creating a world of peace and equality for ourselves and future generations,” he concluded his statement. “We need a government as good as its people, and we are better than this.”
Protests have erupted in cities across the nation, as unrest continues as people are seeking justice for Floyd, whose neck was pinned down by a now-former Minneapolis police officer’s knee. He then died in police custody.
Read his full statement below:
STATEMENT FROM FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER
— The Carter Center (@CarterCenter) June 3, 2020
Carter is not the only former president to weigh in on the protests, as former President Barack Obama also made remarks regarding them.
After initially offering a statement on it, Obama made an appearance on a virtual town hall Wednesday, where he said, “I have to tell you, although I was very young when you had riots, and protests, and assassinations, and discord back in the ’60s. I know enough about that history to say, ‘There is something different here.'”
He later added, “That’s a direct result of the activities … of so many young people across the country who put themselves out on the line to make a difference. And so I just have to say thank you to them.”
See Obama’s remarks below:
WATCH: Former President Barack Obama says, "there is something different" about protests today than in the 1960s. #MTPDaily
Obama: "There is a change in mindset that's taking place, a greater recognition, that we can do better." pic.twitter.com/niXUJMIdI7
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) June 3, 2020
He then added, “The only way to see ourselves in a true light is to listen to the voices of so many who are hurting and grieving. Those who set out to silence those voices do not understand the meaning of America — or how it becomes a better place.”
On Wednesday, it was announced that Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison will raise the charges against Derek Chauvin, the fired police officer, to second-degree murder, as IJR reported. All four officers involved are now facing charges, as the three others are being charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
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