House Speaker Nancy Pelosi raised eyebrows on Tuesday when she thanked George Floyd for dying, prompting criticism from Black Lives Matter.
“Thank you, George Floyd, for sacrificing your life for justice,” she said at the Congressional Black Caucus news conference on Capitol Hill after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all charges.
“For being there to call out to your mom, how heartbreaking was that,” Pelosi added. “And because of you … your name will always be synonymous with justice.”
Black Lives Matter took issue with the Speaker’s remarks, pointing out Floyd “didn’t choose to die.”
“This is so damn disrespectful,” the group wrote on Twitter.
House Whip Rep. Jim Clyburn later defended Pelosi, saying he knew what she meant.
"My goodness,” he said. “All of us sometimes put the infinitive in the wrong place. It was for 'having sacrificed' your life rather than 'sacrificing'…I wish we all had time to consult our grammar books every time we got ready to speak…so she meant absolutely nothing by that…”
Pelosi did follow up in a tweet emphasizing Floyd "should be alive today."
"George Floyd should be alive today," she said. "His family’s calls for justice for his murder were heard around the world. He did not die in vain. We must make sure other families don't suffer the same racism, violence & pain, and we must enact the George Floyd."
Rep. @WhipClyburn (D-SC) on Pelosi's phrasing: "I realized what she meant. My goodness. All of us sometimes put the infinitive in the wrong place. It was for 'having sacrificed' your life ... I wish we all had time to consult our grammar books every time we got ready to speak..." pic.twitter.com/wEi461u9yq— The Recount (@therecount) April 22, 2021