On Wednesday, Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell challenged his colleagues on the other side of the aisle to admit and acknowledge that black lives matter. While some agreed with the Democratic lawmaker, other Republicans refused to accept it and claimed that “all lives matter,” completely missing the point.
At a House Judiciary hearing on police reform, Swalwell explained why he supports the Black Lives Matter movement.
“Black lives matter. Period,” Swalwell said. “And so I would yield to any of my colleagues on the Republican side who can unequivocally say as we calibrate where we are right now that black lives matter.”
That’s when Republicans like Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) got angry.
“Does the gentleman believe that all lives matter?” Gaetz objected. “I think black lives matter, I think all lives matter.”
“Reclaiming my time,” Swalwell interrupted. “Can anyone on the Republican side say unequivocally black lives matter?”
“Unequivocally, all lives matter,” Gaetz repeated as Swalwell grimaced. “Why is that a problem to acknowledge?”
“My colleagues on the other side would like to put up a straw man not to have to a conversation that we need to have about race,” Swalwell remarked. “We have to have the harder conversation about systemic issues in policing and instead with getting this straw man.”
At that point, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) chimed in.
“Black lives do matter,” the Texas Republican agreed. “Unequivocally, black lives matter. Every life is precious, God-given and black lives matter. Unequivocally.”
Then, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) decided to compare Black Lives Matter to Blue Lives Matter and claiming them to be the same thing.
“The theatrics of serving us up the question on a political theme seem to be a bit misplaced,” he complained. “It would be as if I were willing to yield to any Democrat willing to say that blue lives matter. Right? Not super productive.”
“So, I think that if we acknowledge all lives matter,” he continued, “that there are definitely problems in our society that we have to solve.”
Take a look at the video clip below: