During an interview on US television, Vice-President Mike Pence repeatedly declined to say "black lives matter", instead saying "all lives matter". Pence described George Floyd's death as a "tragedy" and said police reforms would take place.
The term "black lives matter" has gained widespread usage, to the extent of being a global movement by itself, following Floyd's death in police custody.
Deadly encounters between colored Americans and the police are often followed by BLM sloganeering and movements, as it happened in the case of Rayshard Brooks too, recently.
'All Lives Matter' Downplays Racism
Observers suggest that saying "all lives matter" stands as an alternative to downplaying institutional, systemic racism.
Critics argue that Black Lives Matter is an organized network. Some say it's a Marxist movement having a wider worldview aiming for something more than establishing institutional equality. This is also the reason some feel uncomfortable supporting it.
Pence was asked to say the words during the interview on a Philadelphia-based show Action News, but he remained resolute in not saying it, reported the Independent.
Pence Declined Even Though Pressed
Host Brian Taff acknowledged that people also said "all lives matter", as he pushed Pence to say it as an acknowledgment that black lives too matter at this point in time as it appears that a segment of society doesn't agree with BLM. "So why will you not say those words?" he insisted.
Pence replied that he doesn't agree that a segment of American society disagrees in the "preciousness and importance of every human life".
"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."
He stressed on the fall in black unemployment rates in the US before the coronavirus and said economic "opportunity zones" were developed. This was proof that the Trump administration was reducing discrimination across the US, he claimed.