Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett revealed that watching the George Floyd video of his death was “very personal” for her family.
Barrett had cried together with one of her adopted daughters after watching the viral video of the black man’s death as a police officer knelt on his neck in Minneapolis five months ago.
Barrett was questioned on Tuesday by the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, during her confirmation process to the vacant Supreme Court Justice position. She was asked by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) about her reaction to Floyd’s death.
“Have you seen the George Floyd video?” Durbin asked.
“I have,” Barrett answered.
“What impact did it have on you?” the Illinois Democrat questioned.
“Senator, as you might imagine, given that I have two black children, that was very, very personal for my family,” Barrett replied.
“Jesse was with the boys on a camping trip out in South Dakota, so I was there, and my 17-year-old daughter Vivian, who was adopted from Haiti, all of this was erupting. It was very difficult for her. We wept together in my room,” the mother of seven continued.
“It was also difficult for Juliet, who is ten. I had to try to explain some of this to them,” she added.
“My children, to this point in their lives, have had the benefit of growing up in a cocoon where they have not yet experienced hatred or violence. And for Vivian, to understand that there would be a risk to her brother or the sons she might have one day, of that kind of brutality, has been an ongoing conversation,” Barrett said, reports BizPacReview.
“It’s a difficult one for us like it is for Americans all over the country,” she concluded.
Durbin then questioned Barrett on her opinion regarding racist issues in the country and asked her if she is in agreement with Americans who believe there is extensive racism and bias across the nation.
“I think it is entirely uncontroversial and obvious statement … that racism persists in our country,” Barrett replied.
“As to putting my finger on the nature of the problem, whether as you say it’s just outright or systemic racism, or how to tackle the issue of making it better, those things, you know, are policy questions,” she added. “They are hotly contested policy questions that have been in the news and discussed all summer. So while, you know, as I did share my personal experience and very happy to be discussed the reaction our family had to the George Floyd video, giving broader statements or making broader diagnoses about the problem of racism is kind of beyond what I’m capable of doing as a judge.”
“Well, I would doubt that,” Durbin was quick to reply.
“I just don’t believe you can be as passionate about originalism and the history behind language that we’ve had for decades, if not centuries, without having some thought about where we stand today,” Durbin said.