CNN’s Baldwin Breaks Down on Air: As a White Woman, Aware of My Own Privilege ‘I Am So Angry’

Thursday on CNN’s “Newsroom,” host Brooke Baldwin got emotional while interviewing Minneapolis City Council member Andrea Jenkins about the death of George Floyd.

After playing a clip of Jenkins singing “Amazing Grace” during a city council meeting, an emotional Baldwin said, “That voice you just heard was that of Minneapolis city council vice president Andrea Jenkins who joins me now. Excuse me, Miss Jenkins, your voice, that song, with just everything that’s been happening. You represent the neighborhood where this incident took place. You have said that George Floyd’s death felt like a symbol “for a knee on the neck of black America.” Thank you so much for joining me today. Can you just talk about how this death has impacted the community you represent and you personally?”

Jenkins said, “Good afternoon, Brooke. Thank you for inviting me to be a part of this conversation. You know, before I speak on your questions, I do want to, you know, publicly offer my own deep, sincere condolences, sympathies, apologies to the family of George Floyd. What a tragic, traumatic incident to happen to our city, to my community, to our nation at a time when we are dealing with this terrible coronavirus. We’re in the midst of a pandemic, and unfortunately, we have two viruses that we have to deal with in America. That is the coronavirus and as well as the virus of racism that has infected our entire society for far too long. The people in my community are pained, are traumatized.”

She continued, “We absolutely must see justice for George. That is what the community is seeking. That is what the community is asking for. And the violence, I do not condone, the looting and the violence. I do fully understand the outrage that people are expressing.”

While tearing up, Baldwin said, “There are so many emotions as I’m sitting here listening to you, I’m having my own. I’m surprised at my own emotions on TV with you. But just as a white woman, aware of my own privilege in this country, I am so angry, I can’t even begin. Forgive me.”

Jenkins said, “It’s a human emotion, Brooke. I think that’s what sparked so much outrage is there was no regard for humanity or human life in the video we all witnessed. The officer sat there with his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for an unbearable amount of time. That was unconscionable. He had a smirk on his face, hands in his pockets like he was totally relaxed. That lack of humanity, that lack of respect for black life has enraged so many people in this instance.”

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