President Higgins has spoken out on the ongoing protests happening in America and around the world, saying we must "eliminate any aspect of racism in our society".
Recent events over in America have spurred people around the world into action, protesting not only for justice for George Floyd but for an end to systemic racism and the structures that allow for it to continue. Expressing the "greatest heartbreak" at the current situation, in particular the military confrontation with peaceful protestors over in America, President Higgins has weighed in the need to tackle racism in every aspect of our society.
In a statement shared online, he is quoted as saying:
"When I first went to the United States, as a post-graduate student at the end of the 1960s, there was an atmosphere of hope that after the war the gains of the Civil Rights Movement, and the War on Poverty which was getting underway, there would be a sustained movement forward towards achieving equality, an end to racist exclusion, and towards the fullest participation in American society. "
President Michael D. Higgins has expressed the “greatest heartbreak” at scenes of “military confrontation with peaceful protesters” in the United States. pic.twitter.com/c1NbsJVfwQ
— President of Ireland (@PresidentIRL) June 4, 2020
He went on to add:
"To those of us who shared these hopes at that time, what we have been witnessing, including military confrontation with peaceful protesters, fills us not only with the greatest heart-break but also with the conviction that we must all, in every circumstance, seek to eliminate any aspect of racism in our society, communities, in sport and in culture, and seek to eliminate the inequality that is often at its root."
Leo Varadkar also spoke out on the matter earlier today, criticising Donald Trump for his handling of the situation and saying that there has been a "real absence of moral leadership from the top".
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