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Reps. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) engaged in a back-and-forth in the House chamber on Wednesday regarding the importance of life in America and, in particular, whose lives matter more.
Following the horrific death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, the “Black Lives Matter” movement has become resurgent again, and as it rose in prominence, thanks to outsized coverage by the establishment media, Democrats have glommed onto it as a means of expanding their political power.
And in some respects, at least, Republicans have done so as well, as evidenced by Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, who participated in a BLM-themed march and demonstration in Washington, D.C., earlier this month.
But other Republicans refuse to bend to the divisive and exclusionary nature of the BLM message — that only black lives matter. They counter that all Americans, regardless of ethnicity or color of skin, deserve the same respect, protections, and freedoms.
They include Gaetz.
During floor debate Wednesday, Swalwell attempted to goad Republican colleagues into saying publicly, on the House floor, that “Black Lives Matter.”
“And so I would yield to any of my colleagues on the Republican side who can unequivocally say, as we calibrate where we are right now, that black lives matter,” said the California Democrat, who is believed to have passed gas once during a live interview, and who also suggested that the federal government would use nuclear weapons to put down a rebellion over gun confiscation.
Gaetz took the opportunity.
.@RepSwalwell: "Can anyone on the Republican side say unequivocally black lives matter?"
— The Hill (@thehill) June 17, 2020
“Does the gentleman believe that all lives matter?” he asked. “I think black lives matter, I think all lives matter.”
At that, Swalwell reclaimed his time, using more theatrics. “Can anyone on the Republican side say, unequivocally, black lives matter?”
“Unequivocally, all lives matter,” Gaetz responded, to Swalwell’s obvious disgust. “Why is that a problem to acknowledge?”
“Reclaiming my time,” Swalwell countered. “I think it’s clear that my colleagues on the other side would like to put up a straw man to not have the uncomfortable conversation that we need to have about race.”
Some Democrats used to agree with Republicans about the value and worth of all American lives, including Nancy Pelosi.
A day after she was re-elected Speaker for the second time, the California Democrat told MSNBC that she believes “all lives matter.”
“Well, I support the recognition that black lives matter, for sure, and I have incorporated that in many of my statements,” she said during a town hall hosted by the network.
“I think all lives matter, yes. But there has — we really have to redress past grievances in terms of how we have addressed the African-American community,” she continued.
Then, interestingly, Pelosi inadvertently acknowledged that the issue of race in America isn’t as profound as Democrats often make it out to be.
“I had a real privilege yesterday to address the swearing-in of the new black caucus members,” she added.
“At least eight new members were elected from places that are not majority-black communities. So this was a real breakthrough,” she continued, a feat that would not be possible in a society where there is ‘systemic racism.’
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