What Was Dick Durbin Insinuating With His Question About Race?

Posted: Oct 13, 2020 12:00 PM
What Was Dick Durbin Insinuating With His Question About Race?

Source: AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Like most other Americans, Judge Amy Coney Barrett was deeply horrified by the video of the police-involved killing of George Floyd. Floyd, an African-American man, died in police custody in Minneapolis after officer Derek Chauvin kept him pinned to the ground by pressing his knee against Floyd's neck for several minutes. Barrett shared how she and her family reacted to the footage.

"Given that I have two black children, that was very, very personal for my family," Barrett explained. The judge and her husband Jesse have adopted two children, Vivian and John Peter, from Haiti. She adds that she and 17-year-old Vivian "wept together."

"When all of this was erupting it was very difficult for her," Barrett explained. "We wept together in my room. And it was also difficult for my daughter Julia who was 10. I had to try and explain some of this to her. My children, to this point in their lives had the benefit of growing up in a cocoon where they had not yet experienced hatred or violence and for Vivian, to understand there would be a risk to her brother or a son she might have one day of that kind of brutality has been an ongoing conversation, a difficult one for us, as it is for Americans all over the country."

Durbin used the line of questioning to then ask Barrett what she thinks about the current state of race in America. We're not sure what he was driving at, but liberal critics have been known to accuse originalist judges of racism.

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"I think it is an entirely uncontroversial statement to say that racism persists in our country," Barrett responded. But she stopped short of giving "broader diagnoses" about the problem because it is "beyond" what she is capable of doing as a judge.

Somehow, critics have found a way to criticize Barrett for adopting two children from Haiti, questioning the "circumstances" around those adoptions.

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