Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: ‘Rioting Is Voices of People Who Have No Voice’

Monday on CNN’s “Newsroom,” former NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar called the rioting in major cities across America “the voices of people who have no voice.”

Host Jim Sciutto asked, “What often happens in situations like this, police leaders, others, try to caricature those out in the streets as mostly looters, mostly left-wing radicals, etc., I wonder if you could describe in your view what is at the root of most of what we’re seeing out there on the streets today.”

Abdul-Jabbar said, “Well, I would have to say it is a combination of just decades of being different toward a very real problem in the black community. The indifference that people have to repeated shootings of black Americans, unarmed black Americans, by white police officers who don’t seem to have been trained very well, or that they have like a personal animus against minorities and people of color.”

He continued, “This seems to be a trend that is so stubborn, and it won’t stop. These are people that really have no other voice now. They don’t get the political power or the financial power to change the circumstances, so what are they going to do? The rioting is the voices of people who have no voice. That’s how they make their presence known. I just remember seeing a sign that someone held up in Minneapolis that said, can you hear us now? I think that’s a very poignant statement.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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