WASHINGTON D.C. (KUSI) – During the Senate Confirmation Hearing, Senator Durbin asked Amy Coney Barrett if she has seen the George Floyd video.
Barret said she had, and explained the impact that it had on her family.
The full transcript of the interaction is below:
DURBIN: “Have you seen the George Floyd video?”
BARRETT: “I have.”
DURBIN: “What impact did it have on you?”
BARRETT: “Senator, as you might imagine, given that I have two black children, that was very, very personal for my family. 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’s adopted from Haiti, all of this was erupting. It was very difficult for her. We wept together in my room and then it was also difficult for my daughter Julia who’s 10. I had to try to explain some of this to them. I mean, 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 son she might have one day, of that kind of brutality, has been an ongoing conversation and it’s a difficult one for us like it is for Americans all over the country.”
DURBIN: “I’d like to ask you as an originalist who obviously has passion for history, I can’t imagine that you can separate to – to reflect on the history of this country where are we today when it comes to the issue of race? Some argue it’s fine. Everything’s fine and you don’t have to even teach children about the history of slavery or discrimination. Others say, there’s implicit bias in so many aspects of American life that we have to be very candid about and address. Others go further and say no, it’s systemic racism that’s built into America and we have to be much more pointed in our addressing it. How do you feel?”
BARRETT: “So, I think it is an entirely uncontroversial and obvious statement given as we just talked about the George Floyd video that racism persists in our country. As to putting my finger on the nature of the problem, you know whether as you say it’s just outright or systemic racism or how to tackle the issue of making it better, those things are policy questions. They’re hotly contested policy questions that have been in the news and discussed all summer. So while as I did share my personal experience, I’m very happy to discuss 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.”