Mike Pence Declines to Use That Phrase

The vice president explains his position to an ABC affiliate
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2020 11:30 AM CDT

In the debate over saying "black lives matter," Mike Pence just took center stage—by declining to say it twice in the same interview. "Well, Brian, let me just say that what happened to George Floyd was a tragedy," Pence told 6ABC Action News anchor Brian Taff, who asked if the vice president would use the phrase. "And in this nation, especially on Juneteenth, we celebrate the fact that from the founding of this nation, we cherish the ideal that all of us are created equal and endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights. And so all lives matter in a very real sense." But Taff didn't let it go, saying the phrase has a value "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," said Pence. "It's one of the reasons why as we advance important reforms in law enforcement, as we look for ways to strengthen and improve public safety in our cities, we're not going to stop there." Taff concluded, "And yet, one final time, you won't say the words, and we understand your explanation." CNN notes that the difference between saying "black lives matter" and "all lives matter" has become "something of a cultural dividing line amid the nationwide discussion about racial equality that has been touched off in recent weeks."
(Read more Black Lives Matter stories.)

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