Meacham: Floyd Incident Was ‘8 Minutes and 46 Seconds’ — ‘It’s Also Been 400 Years’

Author and historian Jon Meacham on Wednesday reacted to presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee former Vice President Joe Biden delivering remarks in a taped address at George Floyd’s funeral the day before.

Meacham said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that Biden is “about restoring” the “vernacular of grace and dignity” that is not currently in the White House. He also pointed out the video of Floyd’s death while in Minneapolis police custody was “eight minutes and 46 seconds” long, but it is what has been going on for “400 years.”

“The thinking here has to be both restoration and reform,” Meacham told host Joe Scarborough. “I think where Vice President Biden is. He’s about restoring that vernacular of grace and dignity and the aim of equality that, you’re right, we have been blessed with for a long time. But it also has to come with reform, which is what the vice president said as well. Look, it was eight minutes and 46 seconds. It’s also been 400 years. And we can’t lose sight of that in the midst of this.”

He continued, “I thought Reverend Sharpton did a masterful job yesterday of weaving the particular and the universal together, which is one of the great missions of a preacher and one of the great points of liturgy, right, is to remind ourselves that we’re part of a vast drama, but we’re also individual human souls. … The other thing I was thinking about yesterday watching the funeral was Dr. King’s eulogy at 16th Street Baptist Church, for three of the four girls had been murdered in September of ’63. And his theme, his refrain was, ‘God has a way of wringing good out of evil. God has a way of wringing good out of evil.’ That is an excellent and comforting point, but the comfort is pretty cold when you’re in the midst of that evil. And … that’s what Biden was pointing at.”

Follow Trent Baker on Twitter @MagnifiTrent

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