Vice President Mike Pence has likely ruffled some feathers with statements he made during a recent phone interview with a reporter from a Philadelphia ABC affiliate.
According to the Washington Examiner, WPVI’s Brian Taff tried to get Pence to say “Black lives matter,” but the vice president refused and instead declared that “every human life” has value.
Not going to happen
“Black lives matter,” of course, is a slogan that Americans have heard a lot in recent weeks. It appears harmless enough on first glance, a truism even.
But, following the death of George Floyd — the 46-year-old Minnesota man who died in police custody on May 25 — “Black lives matter” has become the battle cry for a specific group of people who have destroyed entire swaths of U.S. cities while insisting that the country and its people are infused with racism.
This being the case, it is understandable why Vice President Pence was hesistant to utter that particular phrase.
Rather than trying to explain his decision through that lens, however, the vice president instead provided a different rationale for why he wouldn’t say “Black lives matter.” Pence implied that in the current societal context, those three words together seem to imply that Black lives matter, but others don’t.
“Well, I don’t accept the fact that there’s a segment of American society that disagrees in the preciousness and importance of every human life,” Pence said. “And it’s one of the reasons why, as we advance important reforms in law enforcement, as we look for ways to strengthen and improve public safety in our cities, we’re not going to stop there.”
Indeed, the Trump administration has already put forth its own executive order on police reform, which includes a ban on chokeholds.
But, as Pence stated, the administration has no plans to stop there. Instead, the president wants to address some of the root causes of distrust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
“All lives matter”
Before the end of the interview, the reporter asked Vice President Pence to speak a bit about Juneteenth — the day that slavery effectively came to an end in America.
“Let me just say that what happened to George Floyd was a tragedy,” Pence said. “And in this nation, especially on Juneteenth, we celebrate the fact that from the founding of this nation, we’ve cherished the ideal that all, all of us are created equal and endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights. And so, all lives matter in a very real sense.”
The vice president certainly managed to get his message across in an effective, even eloquent manner, but only time will tell what sort of leftist outrage is headed his way.