Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey appeared to suggest Tuesday that the violent riots engulfing America in civil unrest will be beneficial to the nation in the long run.
During an unsettling speech via Zoom to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, the Democratic politician addressed the topic of riots that have sprung up in the days following the death of George Floyd, who died May 25 in Minneapolis after a police officer knelt on his neck for roughly nine minutes during an arrest
“Yes, America is burning. But that’s how forests grow,” said Healey, who later tweeted out that quote from her speech.
“I spoke about how we must seize the opportunity we have right now to build anew in ways that rid us of the institutionalized racism that’s led to America burning today,” she added on Twitter.
Today in my address to the @bostonchamber, I spoke about how we must seize the opportunity we have right now to build anew in ways that rid us of the institutionalized racism that’s led to America burning today. pic.twitter.com/bJSXMahHyy
— Maura Healey (@maura_healey) June 2, 2020
“Racism has been embedded in our country from the time that Europeans plundered our first Americans and Africans were stolen from their land, shackled and brought to our shore,” she said.
“I won’t talk about rebuilding. Instead, I’ll talk about building anew in ways that rid us of the institutionalized racism that’s led to America burning today.”
As mass riots continue to wreak havoc on society, Healey’s comments could add more fuel to the fire — in some cases literally.
In Boston, the capital of Healey’s own state, rioters lit flares and set a Dunkin’ Donuts on fire, in addition to vandalizing several other businesses, WFXT reported.
In the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area, almost 500 businesses have been vandalized as of Friday, and 67 have been completely destroyed by flames, the Star Tribune reported.
It’s not just businesses that have suffered — violent riots have taken human lives as well, including, tragically, the life of a retired African-American police captain in St. Louis.
Floyd’s loved ones have called for peace, but their pleas to have his memory not be linked to violence have largely been ignored.
“If I’m not over here messing up my community, then what are y’all doing? What are y’all doing? Y’all are doing nothing!” Terrence Floyd, George’s brother, said at a recent prayer vigil, according to the Daily Caller.
“Because that’s not going to bring my brother back at all,” he added.
“It may feel good for the moment, just like when you drink, but when it comes down, you’re going to wonder what you did.”
But many rioters don’t seem to care.
And with flames and destruction becoming the norm in the wake of riot outbursts, Healey’s antagonistic rhetoric is far from acceptable, especially from someone in such a powerful position.
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, chairman of the Republican Attorneys General Association, released a statement condemning her remarks.
“The wrongful death of any innocent life is a tragedy. That includes George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, and now the numerous law enforcement officers and business owners who have been killed or assaulted as a result of these riots and domestic terrorism. Criminal elements have infiltrated peaceful protests, and those individuals breaking the law must be held accountable,” he said.
“Maura Healey’s inflammatory rhetoric is part of the problem, not a solution. An AG is elected to uphold the rule of law and protect life and property, not to violate their oath and incite additional violence by inflaming emotions and condoning lawlessness,” Landry added.
“AG Healey has an obligation to quell fear, not incite further damage and destruction. I call upon Maura Healey as DAGA co-chair to take down her campaign graphic and to quit fanning the flames of emotion for political gain.”
Violence will never lead to positive change.
For the attorney general of Massachusetts to suggest otherwise is entirely inexcusable.
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