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  • -Derrick, thank you so much for being here.

  • I was just speaking with Joy Reid about

  • the events of today.

  • When the decision in the Breonna Taylor case

  • was announced, walk me through your first reaction.

  • -Well, unfortunately, I was not expecting a positive decision.

  • That's a bad commentary for many of us.

  • I don't know of any African-Americans who thought

  • it would be a good decision, but when we heard the outcome,

  • it was even more unfortunate, because it did not address

  • the fact that Breonna Taylor was killed.

  • Only one charged of the three officers,

  • and it was for shooting into another dwelling.

  • That type of -- We shouldn't have that level

  • of expectation out of our judicial system.

  • -What were you hoping to see happen today?

  • -You know, that finally justice would include all of us.

  • Here's a woman who was in her apartment.

  • There was no allegations of wrongdoing.

  • She was sleeping in her bed, and her door's kicked in.

  • and police ultimately killed her.

  • Just think about that.

  • Can you imagine if that was your daughter,

  • your wife, your loved one?

  • Take out the question of race.

  • How would you feel at this moment?

  • That is the reality that far too many

  • African-Americans face in this country today.

  • -Gosh. Why do you think they reached this decision?

  • -You know, because we have this grand jury system,

  • this archaic system. It is --

  • We have no concept what evidence were presented to the grand jury

  • 'cause it's a secret process.

  • We don't know how vigorous it is.

  • Special attorney to pursue the case.

  • Far too often, district attorneys

  • and state attorneys are too cozy with law-enforcement agencies,

  • and the value of the life of the person taken is at stake.

  • And so, unfortunately, we don't know what was said or not said,

  • what evidence was withheld.

  • We do know that an innocent person sleeping in her bed,

  • not causing any harm, was murdered

  • at the hands of law-enforcement officers.

  • -A lot of people are angry today

  • and looking for someone to point the finger at.

  • Who would you say is --

  • Who would you be pointing at right now?

  • -I think we should be pointing forward.

  • You know, how do we change this reality?

  • This is something, as Americans, we should not tolerate.

  • This is all baked into public-policy decisions.

  • Qualified immunity,

  • the lack of a database of national police misconduct.

  • Many of the things that you nor I would like to see

  • our children confronted with in the future,

  • we must begin to look at this moment.

  • We are in an inflection point in this country.

  • We have to decide, are we gonna move into a future

  • that's more just and equitable,

  • or are we gonna stay in this perpetual moment of 1930?

  • I suggest that, as we look forward,

  • we need to do so with a value proposition

  • that's much different than what we have seen displayed

  • in today's decision.

  • -There's two initiatives that the NAACP are working on.

  • One is #WeAreDoneDying.

  • Can you explain what that is about?

  • -You know, we adopted that -- that campaign

  • after the realization of COVID

  • impacted disproportionately African-Americans.

  • It is a hashtag campaign where we understand

  • that elections have consequences.

  • We are looking at 2020's unfortunate series of events,

  • which is a result of the 2016 election.

  • There is no reason this nation --

  • We are leading in the number of deaths as a result of COVID

  • 'cause we were not prepared for this pandemic,

  • and we should've been prepared.

  • There is no reason, in this nation,

  • that our economic system is on the verge of collapsing

  • because of policy decisions.

  • There is no reason in this nation that we're still

  • dealing with this type of aggressive policing

  • and lawlessness by those who are sworn to uphold and protect us.

  • We're done dying.

  • This is our opportunity to begin to push people

  • towards the polls in November so we can set a different

  • value proposition, that black lives matter,

  • and if black lives cannot matter,

  • none of our lives matter.

  • That's not a separative statement.

  • That is saying equal protection under the law should be afforded

  • to all of us, and if we value all of us,

  • that means we all will have a better future.

  • -The late John Lewis said "Vote like we've never voted before."

  • Is that's -- That's -- It's happening.

  • Yesterday was National Voter Registration Day.

  • Those words mean a lot this election.

  • I know your other initiative

  • is the Power of Five voter outreach.

  • -You know, I had the privilege

  • to be on the Edmund Pettus Bridge

  • next to John Lewis when he made those statements

  • with so many other people

  • and vote like we've never voted before.

  • Vote like our lives depend on it.

  • And it's so true.

  • And he was such a stakes person.

  • He was one who was an ordinary person

  • who did extraordinary things.

  • And he embraced so many people, but his statements are so true.

  • What he marched for in 1965 resonates today.

  • It is the right to cast the ballot.

  • And so we're asking people to join our campaign

  • that we know that you're voting but there are five people

  • that you know, or there are five people

  • we can direct you to, to get them to the polls.

  • We cannot be a true representative democracy

  • if we allow the forces to suppress votes

  • or to intimidate people from voting

  • or allow a level of apathy

  • where people feel their votes don't matter.

  • All of our votes matter.

  • Public policy directs the quality of our life.

  • We cannot get the public-policy changes if we don't participate.

  • -People are feeling a lot of different emotions today.

  • Is there a wrong way to feel today?

  • -You know, I'm angry.

  • People are depressed. People are in fear.

  • People are confused. People are frustrated

  • at a system that has caused so much harm.

  • You look at the peaceful protests across the country

  • we've seen over the last three months.

  • You see America, you see black, you see white, you see young,

  • you see old, you see male, female.

  • It's all of us who are saying, "We can do this better."

  • And this moment, this inflection point,

  • how do we look to a future that represents all of us,

  • that allows for a quality of life and a comfort of living

  • that we should all be afforded to,

  • that our labors are valued and that we can work in harmony,

  • as opposed to a past of 1930, where otherness so pervasive

  • in this country that the social construct

  • we call "race" excluded people.

  • If you was Irish in Boston, you was excluded in 1930.

  • If you was Jewish in many parts of New York,

  • you was excluded in 1930.

  • We cannot continue to allow a social construct

  • that still, in many ways,

  • excludes so many African-Americans,

  • excludes so many Latinos, to continue to be the norm.

  • We need to be looking forward, so all of the anger,

  • the frustration, let us channel that

  • towards a future, but we have to do it

  • by moving from peaceful protests to power at the ballot box

  • with a value proposition that equal protection

  • under the law should be afforded to all of us.

  • And then, once those policymakers are elected,

  • they walk into office, implementing public policy

  • to reflect that value proposition.

  • That is the trajectory we should be on, not looking backwards.

  • -Let's make that happen.

  • Derrick Johnson, thank you so much for being here tonight.

  • It's good to see you. -Thank you.

  • Continue to be a supporter. Continue the good work.

  • -Thank you, buddy. Thank you.

-Derrick, thank you so much for being here.

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Derrick Johnson Calls for People to "Vote Like Their Lives Depend on It"

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/10/24
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