Congressman Al Green calls for end to systemic racism

Many are expressing their disappointment after the grand jury decided no one will be charged for the death of Breonna Taylor. Congressman Al Green is among them. We caught up with the Congressman shortly after he addressed the House of Representatives.

Congressman Green gave heartfelt speeches yesterday and today regarding the Breonna Taylor grand jury decision and one thing he asked that's resonating with many people is “Breonna Taylor's death is being called a tragedy but if she was a different color would it be called a crime? A good number of people in this country are asking the ultimate question. It's a question that haunts the nation,” says Green.

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On the floor of the House, the Congressman said his "heart is heavy" after only one Louisville Police Officer was charged but not with the shooting death of Breonna Taylor. “When the color of the person is known justice can sometimes turn a blind eye. People don't like to hear the words but f a white woman were killed under the same circumstances by black officers would your opinion be the same? This is the thing we have to ask ourselves ‘does crime have a color associated with it?' and if it does we have to deal with the color of crime."

To address racism and injustice the Congressman is proposing a Department of Reconciliation and a Secretary of Reconciliation. "Who will have his or her job to every day do everything that can be done to reconcile the differences that we understand to be the case in this country...When the constabulary goes into a home where there are persons of European ancestry the mindset going in is different…And we have seen videos where white persons, I hate using the term but to communicate I will, white persons can have a gun walking down the street having shot persons and nothing is done. We've seen video of it”.

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The Congressman is also giving a one-hour speech before the House on systemic racism. "Systemic racism is something that persons don't plot and plan to do. It's something that's understood by virtue of the way black people have been treated and are being treated in this country".

Born in the segregated South, it's something he has lived from only being served from the back of a restaurant to "I drank from colored water fountains, I did. I sat in the back of the bus because I understand racism I understand how it has metamorphosed. It has cleaned itself up to a certain degree".

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Congressman Green says he doesn't take his words lightly. In fact, as he spoke on the House floor the Congressman says he paused to silently say a Bible verse his grandfather pushed him to learn as a child. “He said Alexander I want you to say the 23rd Psalm. I said Grandfather I don't want to say the 23rd Psalm it's too long. He said boy you're going to need the 23rd Psalm. My grandfather was right I needed the 23rd Psalm. 'The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want'. True story when I was running for Congress my opponent was called up to the stage and allowed to speak. When it was my turn I moved toward the stage and they said no Al you can't speak from the stage you have to speak from down there on the floor and I said the 23rd Psalm. As I stood there today (on the House floor) I recited the 23rd Psalm. I just pray for a world where the strong will be just and the weak will receive justice".