Rev. Al Sharpton Delivers Eulogy During Floyd Memorial Service: ‘Get Your Knee Off Our Necks!’
Rev. Al Sharpton delivered a eulogy during George Floyd’s memorial service on Thursday, during which he told the audience that police brutality and racial discrimination occur daily and implored white Americans to “get off our necks!”
Sharpton, in discussing his presence at Thursday’s service, noted that he’s often called to speak when certain issues need attention.
“One thing I found out about roaches is that if you keep the light off, if you in the dark, a roach will pull up to your dinner table and have a five-course meal,” he said. “So I learned that one of the ways to deal with roaches is if you cut the light off, I could run them roaches and track them down. And I’ve spent all my life chasing roaches all over this country.”
The reverend compared Floyd’s fatal arrest to that of Eric Garner, whose dying words were also “I can’t breathe.”
“George Floyd’s story has been the story of black folks. Because ever since 401 years ago, the reason we could never be who we wanted and dreamed of being is you kept your knee on our neck. We were smarter than the underfunded schools you put us in, but you had your knee on our neck,” he said to a cheering crowd.
“We could run corporations and not hustle in the streets, but you had your knee on our neck. We had creative skills, we could do whatever anybody else could do. But we couldn’t get your knee off our neck. What happened to Floyd happened every day in this country in education, in health services and in every area of American life. It is time for us to stand up in George’s name and say, ‘get your knee off our necks!'”
Sharpton noted many examples of black people who broke through and succeeded in America in spite of the obstacles he listed.
“We thought maybe we had a complex, maybe it was just us. But even blacks that were broke through, you kept your knee on that neck. Michael Jordan won all of these championships and you kept digging for mess because you got to put a knee on our neck,” he continued. “White housewives would run home to see a black woman on TV named Oprah Winfrey and you messed with her because you just can’t take your knee off our neck.”
Sharpton took a swipe at President Donald Trump and birtherism, noting that even when Barack Obama became president, people doubted him simply because of his race.
“Man comes out of a single-parent home, educates himself, and raises up and becomes the president of the United States and you ask him for his birth certificate because you can’t take your knee off our neck,” he added before remarking on the demonstrations occurring across the United States.
“The reason why we’re marching all over the world is we were like George, we couldn’t breathe,” he said. “Not because there was something wrong with our lungs, but because you wouldn’t take your knee off our neck. We don’t want no favors, just get up off of us and we can be and do whatever we can be.”
Sharpton later went after Trump for posing in front of a Washington D.C. church with a Bible, adding that he has never seen anyone hold a Bible that way before.
“But since he held the Bible, if he is watching us today, I would like him to open that Bible. And I’d like him to read Ecclesiastes 3,” he said. “To every season there is a time and a purpose, and I think that it is our job to let the world know when we see what is going on in the streets of this country, and in Europe around the world, that you need to know what time it is.”
He then remarked that the Bible should never be used as a prop, and that Floyd should also not be used as a prop.
Watch above, via CNN.
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