After writing an op-ed over the weekend calling racism in the U.S. more deadly than the coronavirus, NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said protests give people who have no voice a voice during a Monday appearance on CNN.
Abdul-Jabbar told CNN’s “Newsroom” that people are protesting a “combination of just decades of indifference toward a very real problem in the black community.”
“The indifference that people have to see repeated shootings of black Americans, unarmed black Americans by white police officers who don’t seem to have been trained very well, or that they have like a personal animus against minorities and people of color,” he said.
He said nothing has changed since the Rodney King riots where police were accused of using excessive force in King's arrest. The incident was captured on video just as the arrest of George Floyd was recorded.
He added, “This seems to be a trend that is so stubborn, and it won’t stop. These are people that really have no other voice now. They don’t get the political power or the financial power to change the circumstances, so what are they going to do? The rioting is the voices of people who have no voice. That’s how they make their presence known. I just remember seeing a sign that someone held up in Minneapolis that said, can you hear us now? I think that’s a very poignant statement.”
While he recognized that “99 percent” of police officers do a “wonderful job day-in and day-out” and often times are not thanked for their efforts, he said there needs to be a way to get rid of bad cops.
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