House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday received a barrage of criticism on social media following comments she made about George Floyd after Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder and manslaughter in his death.
Addressing the press alongside the Congressional Black Caucus shortly after the disgraced former Minneapolis cop was convicted by a jury, Pelosi expressed gratitude to Floyd for “sacrificing” his life for justice.
“Thank you, George Floyd, for sacrificing your life for justice,” Pelosi said. “For being there to call out to your mom—how heartbreaking was that? Call out for your mom, ‘I can’t breathe.’ But because of you and because of thousands—millions of people around the world who came out for justice, your name will always be synonymous with justice.”
Pelosi’s comments, however, did not sit down well with a section of people on social media. People quickly reminded her Floyd was murdered and he did not under any circumstance put himself in a sacrificial position. Floyd, 46, passed away after Chauvin knelt on his neck for over nine minutes despite repeatedly telling him he couldn’t breathe. The May 25 incident sparked unprecedented protests in the United States as well as several other countries in what was a year of racial reckoning.
“George Floyd didn’t ‘sacrifice’ his life for anything. He was murdered!”, a user tweeted in response to Pelosi’s comments.
Historian, writer, activist and professor, Barbara Ransby, also wrote: “Did Pelosi just say ‘George Floyd, thank u 4 sacrificing your life for justice’? He did not SACRIFICE his life. His life was violently taken.”
The House Speaker, however, appeared to clarify her comments in a follow-up tweet, writing: “George Floyd should be alive today. 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.”
Take a look at more reactions to her initial comments below: