MSNBC’s Glaude: ‘We Have to Understand How Profoundly Racist Our Country Is’

Princeton University professor and MSNBC contributor Eddie Glaude, Jr. said Wednesday on his network that Americans need to understand “profoundly racist our country is.”

Discussing the death of George Floyd after a police officer knelt on his neck in Minneapolis, Glaude said, “I think it’s pretty much common knowledge in the United States that we have multiple Americas, and that is evidenced in the way in which those Americas are policed. People need — the video exposes a kind of willful ignorance. It provides light on the shadow against the idea of innocence of the country. But I think there’s an intimate knowledge around the country that there are two Americas, that police don’t value the lives of black folk. When you look at the face of that officer, he doesn’t seem to assume that he has his knee on the neck of a human being. He’s with his hand in his pocket. He doesn’t hear him call out for his mother. He doesn’t hear him crying. So this is the America we live in. We just need to confront it honestly.”

He continued, “We have to finally be honest with ourselves. We talked about this when this happened with El Paso. We have to understand how profoundly racist our country is and how it shapes the very ways in which communities are policed. That doesn’t lead to an indictment of each individual, but it gets us to the systemic nature of inequality.”

He added, “You have a community that’s experiencing trauma and terror simultaneously. Minnesota just hit its peak with COVID-19 yesterday in terms of the number of hospitalizations and the number of dead. African-Americans in Minnesota are disproportionately impacted by Coronavirus. So we’re dealing with the devastation of this pandemic, and we’re seeing Ahmaud Arbery, we’re seeing Breonna Taylor, we’re seeing George Floyd. COVID has changed, in some ways, arrested so much of what the country has been doing about the business as usual, except killing black folk, except the devaluation of black folk.”

He concluded, “When you see the police response to white protesters clamoring to open up the economy coming into the state capitol in Michigan, spitting and getting in the face of police, having a gun on their side, refusing to have their arms locked into handcuffs. They’re so patient and restrained. Here we are responding to the fact that this man treated George Floyd like an animal. What do we get? Rubber bullets, teargas, and the like. More than two Americans, Nicolle. This is the ugly underside of who we are.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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