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Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett revealed that George Floyd’s death was “very personal” for her family and they cried over the viral video of his death.
The federal appellate judge nominated to the Supreme Court by President Donald Trump recounted her reaction, and that of her family which includes two children adopted from Haiti, over the death of Floyd in Minneapolis back in May.
Senator Dick Durbin presented the question about Floyd during Tuesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Barrett’s nomination. Her response earned praise on social media where many saw her emotional retelling of the impact on her children as another reason why Democrats will find it hard to discredit her.
“Have you seen the George Floyd video?” Durbin asked.
(Source: PBS NewsHour)
“I have,” Barrett replied.
“What impact did it have on you?” the Illinois Democrat questioned.
“Senator, as you might imagine, given that I have two black children, that was very, very personal for my family,” Barrett answered.
“Jesse was with the boys on a camping trip out in South Dakota, so I was there, and my 17-year-old daughter Vivian, who was adopted from Haiti, all of this was erupting. It was very difficult for her. We wept together in my room,” the mother of seven continued.
“It was also difficult for Juliet, who is ten. I had to try to explain some of this to them,” she added.
“My children, to this point in their lives, have had the benefit of growing up in a cocoon where they have not yet experienced hatred or violence. And for Vivian, to understand that there would be a risk to her brother or the sons she might have one day, of that kind of brutality, has been an ongoing conversation,” Barrett said.
“It’s a difficult one for us, like it is for Americans all over the country,” she concluded.
Durbin then asked the nominee about her thoughts on arguments about racism in America and whether she agreed with those who believe there is implicit bias or systemic racism in the nation.
“I think it is entirely uncontroversial and obvious statement…that racism persists in our country,” Barrett responded.
“As to putting my finger on the nature of the problem, whether as you say it’s just outright or systemic racism, or how to tackle the issue of making it better, those things, you know, are policy questions,” she added. “They are hotly contested policy questions that have been in the news and discussed all summer. So while, you know, as I did share my personal experience and very happy to be discussed the reaction our family had to the George Floyd video, giving broader statements or making broader diagnoses about the problem of racism is kind of beyond what I’m capable of doing as a judge.”
“Well, I would doubt that,” the Democrat lawmaker shot back.
“I just don’t believe you can be as passionate about originalism and the history behind language that we’ve had for decades, if not centuries, without having some thought about where we stand today,” Durbin said.
Barrett’s remarks about the death of Floyd sparked many reactions on social media where criticism of Durbin also abounded.
Durbin just set up a question that resulted in one of the best moments for Barrett. Asked about what she felt in watching the George Floyd video, Barrett said it had a huge impact on her as the mother to two black children. She said that she wept with her children over the video.
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) October 13, 2020
Judge Barrett on George Floyd video:
“We wept together.”
Call a vote; she’s confirmed.
— Joel Pollak (@joelpollak) October 13, 2020
I have a problem with the whole line of questioning. What has history or racism got to do with cases going before the Court? If Durbin thinks he should fix something, maybe she should do his damned job.
— Wilbs999 (@Wilbs999) October 13, 2020
This woman is clearly smarter and a better person than anyone asking her a question.
— DD (@pvlifeguy) October 13, 2020
Now why would he ask her such question?!
— Lillian H. Mueller (@lill_the_swiss) October 13, 2020
— Mr. Happy (@DaReelNJ2K) October 13, 2020