JUNE 19, 2020
Juneteenth, however, commemorates the end of slavery in America, which happened nearly a century after the nation’s founding.
The distinction between saying “Black lives matter” and “all lives matter” has emerged as something of a cultural dividing line amid the nationwide discussion about racial equality that has been touched off in recent weeks. The phrase “Black lives matter” has gained widespread use in recent years as a way to draw attention specifically to deadly encounters between Black Americans and police.
“Forgive me for pressing you on this, sir,” anchor Brian Taff said to Pence, “but I will note you did not say those words, ‘Black lives matter,’ and there is an important distinction. People are saying, of course all lives matter, but to say the words is an acknowledgment that Black lives also matter at a time in this country when it appears that there’s a segment of our society that doesn’t agree. So why will you not say those words?”
“Well, I don’t accept the fact, Brian, that there’s a segment of American society that disagrees, in the preciousness and importance of every human life,” Pence said. “And it’s one of the reasons why as we advance important reforms in law enforcement, as we look for ways to strengthen and improve our public safety in our cities, that we’re not going to stop there.”
Pence went on to tout the Black unemployment rate pre-pandemic and the development of economic “opportunity zones,” adding that the administration is “absolutely determined to improve” the lives of African Americans.
“And yet, one final time, you won’t say the words and we understand your explanation,” Taff responded.
The vice president was also asked about a video that President Donald Trump posted to Twitter on Thursday that was labeled “manipulated media” by the social network.
“When you watch much of the national news media these days, Brian, it seems like they focus more every day on what divides us in this country,” Pence said. “And I think the President saw an opportunity with a good sense of humor to once again challenge the media narrative.”