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Transcript of Vice President Joe Biden’s Video Message for George Floyd’s Funeral in Houston

Hello, everyone, on this day of prayer, where we try to understand God’s plan in our pain.

To George’s family and friends — Jill and I know the deep hole in your hearts when you bury a piece of your soul deep in this Earth.

As I’ve said to you privately — we know. We know you will never feel the same.

For most people, the numbness you feel now, will slowly turn, day after day, season after season, into purpose through the memory of the one they lost.
But for you, that day has come before you can fully grieve. And unlike most, you must grieve in public. And, it’s a burden. A burden that is now your purpose —to change the world for the better in the name of George Floyd.

Like so many others, I’ve watched with awe as you summon the absolute courage to channel God’s grace and show the good man George was. To stir justice too long dormant and to move millions to act peacefully and purposefully.

But among all the people around the world who feel connected to this tragedy, are the ones who lost something that can never, ever be replaced. 

To George’s children and grandchild, I know you miss you Dad and Granddad. 

Little Gianna — as I said to you when I saw you yesterday, you are so brave. Daddy is looking down and he is so proud of you. And I know you miss that bear hug that only he could give. That pure joy riding on his shoulders so you could touch the sky. The countless hours he spent playing any game you wanted because your smile, your laugh, your love is the only thing that mattered in at the moment.

And I know you have a lot of questions that no child should have to ask, questions that too many black children have had to ask for generations.

Why? Why is Daddy gone?

In looking through your eyes, we should all be asking ourselves why the answer is often too cruel and painful. 

Why, in this nation, do too many black Americans — wake up knowing they could lose their life — in the course of living their life?

Why does justice not roll like a river nor righteousness like a mighty stream? Why?

Yet, ladies and gentlemen — we cannot turn away. We must not turn away. We cannot leave this moment thinking we can once again turn away from racism that stings at our very soul and from systemic abuse that still plagues American life. 

As Thurgood Marshall once implored, “America must dissent from indifference … we must dissent from fear, the hatred, and the mistrust … we must dissent because America can do better … because America has no choice but to do better.”

I grew up with Catholic Social Doctrine which taught me that faith without works is dead and you will know us by what we do.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we’ve got to deal with the denial of the promise of this nation to so many people for so long. This is about who we are, what we believe, and maybe most important, who we want to be. To ensure that all men and women are not only created equal but treated equally.

We can heal this nation’s wounds and remember its pain, not callous the heart and forget.

I know Reverend Sharpton is there in Houston with you today. Rev — I watched you speak from Ecclesiastes last week in Minnesota, Chapter 3, Verse 1, to everything there is a time and a purpose and a season under the heavens.

Today, now is the time, the purpose, the season to listen and heal. Now is the time for racial justice. That’s the answer we must give to our children when they ask why. Because when there is justice for George Floyd, we will truly be on our way to racial justice in America. 

And then, as you said, Gianna, your Daddy will have “changed the world.”

May God be with you, George Floyd, and your family.

And in the words from a hymn in my church based on the 91st Psalm, may He raise you up on eagle’s wings, bear you on the breath of dawn, make you to shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of His hand.

God bless you all. God bless you all.