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‘We need people who aren’t black’ to fight injustice – Jalen Rose

Bristol, CT - October 8, 2015 - Digital Center 2: Portrait of Jalen Rose (Photo by Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images)

Jalen Rose is joining the outcry for social justice reform following the death of George Floyd, a black man killed in policy custody.

During the Friday edition of ESPN’s “Get Up!,” Rose made an impassioned plea to whites and people outside the black community to help fight systemic oppression and to stop treating black athletes and entertainers as people limited to their job description.

Here’s his monologue:

I have to say this. I wish America loved black people as much as they love black culture. There’s so many times that it gets cherry picked, and it gets piggy-backed, but only when it’s convenient. And sometimes it happens in entertainment and athletics.

We’re not here designed only to entertain. We’re actually living and breathing human beings that have a multitude of intelligence, work ethic, discipline, talent. We’ve overcome a lot just like so many other races. This didn’t just start happening. You can Google. We’ve been sprayed with water hoses, we’ve been attacked by dogs, we’ve overcome it. I’m old enough to remember “I Have A Dream,” “Fight the Power,” “Screw the Police.” Now it’s “I can’t breathe.” This is not not new, and it’s not going to come from just us. 

We need people who aren’t black, we need people who aren’t brown. When you know these things are happening in your society to have a voice, a legitimate one, lock and step with us, protest with us, post with us, not just when it’s convenient, when it can be uncomfortable.

The image of Colin Kaepernick taking a knee at a football game during the national anthem is the exact one that we see in Minnesota, when a guy was laying on the ground for over eight minutes, handcuffed, with a knee to his neck. And was murdered. Let’s start calling these things what they are. These are murderings. These are lynchings. These things have caused pain in our society, in our community, for hundreds of years. We’ve been screaming out for your assistance.

Many in the sports community have made similar comments since the death of Floyd on May 25. Protests are taking place across the country, including New York, Los Angeles and Minneapolis, the site of Floyd’s death. 

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