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Psaki avoids answering question about Biden’s contribution to ‘systemic racism’ in US

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Derek Chauvin found guilty for the murder of George Floyd

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Speaking to reporters on Wednesday from the White House, a journalist asked Ms Psaki whether the President will acknowledge some of the actions he took as a senator. New York Post reporter Steven Nelson asked: “To what extent does President Biden acknowledge his own role in systemic racism and how does that inform his current policy positions?”

He added that Mr Biden was “an architect of multiple federal laws in the 1980s and 90s that disproportionately jailed black people and contributed to what many people see as systemic racism.”

Ms Psaki decided not to comment on Mr Biden’s past actions as a senator.

She said: “One of the President’s core objectives is addressing racial injustice in this country, not just through his rhetoric but through his actions.

“And what anyone should look to is his advocacy for passing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, for nominating leaders to the Department of Justice to address long outdated policies.

“And to ask his leadership team here in the White House to prioritise these issues in his presidency, which is current and today and not from 30 years ago.”

The journalist tried to push Ms Psaki for an answer on his question and said: “Do you believe it’s important for him to accept his own culpability…”

Ms Psaki then cut the reporter off and replied: “I think I’ve answered your question.”

On Tuesday, a jury found that former police officer Derek Chauvin was guilty of all three charges in the murder of George Floyd last year.

Analysts and civil rights campaigners hailed the ruling as a major win for black citizens in the US.

The President also praised the verdict as a “step forward” and said “we can’t stop here” in delivering change and reform.

According to the New York Post, Mr Biden previously authorised the 1994 crime law that enforced a mandatory sentence of life without parole for a third serious drug conviction.

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The action sent some people to prison for life for dealing marijuana.

In an interview during Mr Biden’s presidential campaign, the then-Harvard professor Cornel West said the now President “is going to have to take responsibility and acknowledge the contribution he made to something that was not a force for good”.

Mr West added: “When he says it didn’t contribute to mass incarceration, I tell him he has to get off his symbolic crack pipe.”

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