Barrett tells Durbin that she and her adopted daughter ‘wept together’ after seeing the George Floyd video
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., began his questioning of Barrett by asking her about her position on the Affordable Care Act, reinforcing the commitment of the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee to focus extensively on healthcare throughout her confirmation hearings. He later pivoted to the issue of race, where he asked the Supreme Court nominee for her thoughts on the death of George Floyd.
“Have you seen the George Floyd video?” he asked. When she responded in the affirmative, he asked her, “What impact did it have on you?”
“Senator, as you might imagine, given that I have two black children, that was very, very personal for my family,” she replied. Barrett mentioned that witnessing the death of the African American man in Minneapolis police custody was “very difficult” for Vivian, her adopted daughter from Haiti, recalling that “we wept together in my room.”
“For Vivian to understand that 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 and it’s a difficult one for us like it is for Americans all over the country,” she added.
Durbin proceeded to ask Barrett for her thoughts on the issue of race in the U.S. today. While she maintained that it was an “entirely uncontroversial and obvious statement given, as we just talked about, the George Floyd video, that racism persists in our country,” Barrett declined to give “broader statements” or make “broader diagnoses about the problem of racism.”