Actor George Clooney penned a Monday op-ed in The Daily Beast and claimed that “anti-black racism” is “America’s greatest pandemic.”
“The anger and the frustration we see playing out once again in our streets is just a reminder of how little we’ve grown as a country from our original sin of slavery,” Clooney argued, referring to the protests of George Floyd’s death.
Clooney claimed that the absence of slavery in modern America is not a “badge of honor” and called for “systemic change” in both the country’s criminal justice system and law enforcement
“This is our pandemic. It infects all of us, and in 400 years we’ve yet to find a vaccine.”
The actor pointed to reporting from Sarah Koenig, an American journalist who covered trials in a Cleveland courthouse for a year and claimed she saw that the apparatus of the criminal justice system is driven by racial discrimination. According to Koenig, black Americans and other people of color are arrested more often, charged more harshly, given higher bails, and provided worse plea deals. In addition, she claimed people of color are given longer prison sentences and often have their probation revoked.
Clooney claimed that the country needs politicians and policymakers who represent their citizens equally. The actor also took a veiled jab at Donald Trump for his threat to shoot looters and claimed it was a dog whistle to racists.
The Ocean’s Eleven actor concluded his piece with the claim that the only option to “bring lasting change” in the country is to vote in November.
As reported by Breitbart, Clooney is one of many high-profile actors who have spoken out about Floyd’s death. Actor and singer Jamie Foxx joined social justice advocates in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Friday and showed his support for protesters on the front lines.
“I’m not a celebrity. I’m from Terrell, Texas. These are my brothers. This means everything because at the end of the day, when we see you guys out there on the frontline, we want to let you know that you’ve got support.”
Hip-hop star J. Cole was captured joining protesters in Fayetteville, North Carolina in a photo that was shared on social media.
Other A-list celebrities who have spoken out on Floyd’s death include Ariana Grande, John Cusack, and Taylor Swift.
CNN host Don Lemon previously called out Hollywood leaders for failing to support protesters and pushed them to use their platforms to take action. According to Lemon, many stars refused to appear on his show due to concerns that it would harm their brand.
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