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Barrett: It's Obvious Racism Persists in Our Country

She says she wept with daughter after seeing George Floyd footage
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 13, 2020 6:34 PM CDT

(Newser) – Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett sidestepped questions on abortion and other issues during her Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday—but she was more forthcoming when Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin asked her if she had seen footage of the arrest of George Floyd. USA Today reports that Barrett's voice began to crack when she discussed the footage of an officer kneeling on the Black man's neck for 9 minutes and the effect it had on her children, including a Black son and daughter adopted from Haiti. "Senator, as you might imagine, given that I have two Black children, that was very, very personal for my family," she said. Barrett said her husband had been on a camping trip with their sons at the time, but she wept with 17-year-old daughter Vivian after seeing the footage.

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"All of this was erupting. It was very difficult for her," Barrett said. "We wept together in my room." She said her children had grown up in a "cocoon where they have not yet experienced hatred or violence," and Floyd's death and the subsequent protests led to some difficult family conversations. Durbin also asked Barrett whether she believes racism still exists in America and whether it is systemic. "I think it is an entirely uncontroversial and obvious statement, given that we just discussed the George Floyd video, that racism persists in our country," she said, per Politico, though she added that the issues of whether racism is systemic and what can be done about it are "hotly contested policy questions." (Read more Amy Coney Barrett stories.)

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