And I just discussed that with the Floyd family. The guilty verdict doesn’t bring George back, but through the family’s pain they find meaning, so George’s legacy is not just about his death, but what we must do in his memory. I also spoke to Gianna, George’s little daughter, again.
When I met her last year, I said that before, at George’s funeral I told her how brave I thought she was. And I knelt to hold her hand. I said, “Daddy looks down on you. He’s so proud.” She then said to me, I’ll never forget, “Dad changed the world.” And I said to her this afternoon, “Dad changed the world.” Let this be his legacy, a legacy of peace, nonviolence, justice. Peaceful expression of this legacy is inevitable and appropriate, but violent protest is not.
And there are those who will try to take advantage of the raw feelings of the moment, agitators and extremists who have no interest in social justice, who want to engage in violence, destroy property, ignite the flames of hatred and division that will do anything in of their power to stop this country’s march towards racial justice. We cannot let them succeed.
This is a time for this country to come together and unite as Americans. America can never have a safe haven for hatred. I have said it many times: the struggle for the soul of this nation has been a constant push and pull for more than 240 years, a tug-of-war between the American ideal that we are all created equal and the harsh reality of racism has long diverged us cracked. At best, the American ideal wins.
So we cannot leave this moment or look away when we think our job is done. We have to look at it the way we did for those 9 minutes and 29 seconds. We have to listen, “I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.” These are George Floyd’s last words. We cannot let these words die with him. We have to hear these words over and over again.
We must not turn away. We cannot turn away. We have a chance to change the trajectory in this country. It is my hope and my prayer that we will live up to the inheritance. May God bless you and may God bless George Floyd and his family. Thank you for taking the time to be here. This could be a moment of major change. Many Thanks.