Amy Coney Barrett calls George Floyd video 'very personal' for her family

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  • Amy Coney Barrett
    Amy Coney Barrett
    American lawyer, judge, and academic
  • George Floyd
    African American man who was a victim of police violence in the United States, killed by Derek Chauvin

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) used his time questioning Amy Coney Barrett to touch on a big topic in America and the law: racism.

During her Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Durbin asked Barrett whether she had seen the video of George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police, and how it affected her. "Given that I have two Black children, that was very, very personal for my family," Barrett responded, referring to her two children adopted from Haiti.

Barrett's husband Jesse had taken her boys on a camping trip, but Barrett was home with her 17-year-old daughter Vivian, who is Black, as "all of this was erupting," she said. "It was very difficult for her; we wept together in my room," Barrett continued. "To understand 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."

It was difficult to "try to explain" the incident to her 10-year-old daughter who was also home, as her children "have had the benefit of growing up in a cocoon where they have not yet experienced hatred or violence," Barrett continued. Durbin then asked her to explain "where are we today when it comes to the issue of race. Barrett responded by saying it's "uncontroversial and obvious" that "racism persists in our country," but would not go further into what she called "hotly contested policy questions" about race.

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