Joe Biden Praises George Floyd's 'Brave' Daughter in Moving Video Message During Funeral

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joe biden in june 2020
JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden is sending a message of love and strength to George Floyd's family following his fatal arrest last month. The 77-year-old former vice president's video message played at Floyd's Houston, Texas, funeral on Tuesday.

"To George's family and friends, Jill and I know the deep hole in your hearts when you bury a piece of your soul deep in this Earth," Biden said, alluding to his son, Beau's, 2015 death. "As I've said to you privately, we know you will never feel the same again. For most people, the numbness you feel now will slowly turn, day after day, season after season, into purpose, through the memory of the one they lost."

"But for you, that day has come before you can fully grieve. And unlike most, you must grieve in public," he continued, referencing the nationwide protests that began following Floyd's death. "It's a burden, a burden that is now your purpose to change the world for the better, in the name of George Floyd."

Biden went on to praise Floyd's family's "absolute courage to channel God's grace," before turning his attention to Floyd's daughter, 6-year-old Gianna. 

"Little Gianna, as I said to you when I saw you yesterday, you're so brave. Daddy's looking down and he's so proud of you," Biden said. "I know you miss that bear hug that only he could give, the pure joy riding on his shoulders, so you could touch the sky. The countless hours he spent playing any game you wanted because your smile, your laugh, your love, is the only thing that mattered at the moment."

"I know you have a lot of questions, honey. No child should have to ask questions that too many black children have had to ask for generations. Why? Why is Daddy gone?" he continued. "In looking through your eyes, we should also be asking ourselves why [the] answers are so often too cruel and painful. Why in this nation do too many black Americans wake up knowing that they could lose their life in the course of just living their life? Why does justice not roll like a river or righteous like a mighty stream? Why?"

Biden continued his speech by addressing all Americans, telling them that "we must not turn away" from racial injustice. 

"We cannot leave this moment thinking we can once again turn away from racism that stings at our very soul. From systemic abuse that still plagues American life," he said. "We've got to deal with the denial of the promise of this nation to so many people for so long. It's about who we are, what we believe, and maybe most importantly, who we want to be to ensure that all men and women are not only created equal, but are treated equally. We can heal this nation's wounds and remember its pain, not callous the heart and forget."

The presidential hopeful implored that "now is the time, the purpose, the season to heal. Now is the time for racial justice."

"That's the answer we must give to our children when they ask, 'Why?' Because when there's justice for George Floyd, we will truly be on our way to racial justice in America. And then, as you said, Gianna, your daddy will have changed the world," Biden said. "May God be with you, George Floyd, and your family. In the words of a hymn from my church based on the 91st Psalm, may He raise you up on eagle's wings, bear you on the breath of dawn, and make you to shine like the sun and hold you in the palm of his hand."

Biden's video message played one day after he privately met with Floyd's family. Floyd family attorney Benjamin Crump confirmed the meetup via Twitter, posting a photo of himself posing with the Democratic presidential nominee, along with Rev. Al Sharpton, Congressman Cedric Richmond, and Floyd's uncle, Roger.

"Listening to one another is what will begin to heal America," Crump tweeted. "That's just what VP @JoeBiden did with the family of #GeorgeFloyd – for more than an hour."

"He listened, heard their pain, and shared in their woe," Crump added. "That compassion meant the world to this grieving family."

 Watch the video below for more on Floyd.

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