Leaders across the country need to come together to address the pain and frustration felt by black Americans, former Democratic National Committee interim chairwoman Donna Brazile said Saturday.
In an interview on "Fox & Friends Weekend" with host Griff Jenkins, Brazile said she woke up this morning with a heavy heart.
"As you know Griff, we're in a crisis. And, at a moment like this, it's very important that all of our nation’s leaders, not just those who are elected but community leaders, the clergy -- everyone -- come together," she said. "This is one of those crises where we do need empathy, we need an understanding of why this pain, why this trauma is causing so much grief."
Brazile said the damage being caused by rioters and looters shouldn't overshadow the efforts of demonstrators trying to peacefully honor 46-year-old George Floyd and call for justice.
Floyd, an unarmed black man, died while being detained by police in Minneapolis. A white officer put his knee into the neck of the handcuffed man until he went limp on the ground. That officer has been fired and charged with murder and manslaughter.
According to Brazile, the trauma and "terrorism" inflicted on non-white American citizens needs to be the focus of leaders at all levels moving forward.
"I understand that it may be difficult for my white friends -- and I have plenty -- to understand that this pain is born from a frustration that simply because of the color of your skin you're pulled over, you're suspected, you are treated as if you're not an American citizen, your life is not valued," she said.
"So, yes, it is George Floyd. We want justice for him. It is also the young man down in Georgia. It is also the young woman in [Kentucky], in her own house. And there are so many other examples that I can give you."
"But watching that video, hearing a man call out to his deceased Mama, begging this officer, pleading with him, to remove his knee from his neck: That has gripped us. That has challenged us, and that should, at least at this moment, force us to figure out how we come together.
"This is not a moment to try to stoke up racial animosity. This is a moment to bring reconciliation to the table from the president of the United States on down and from the clergy and the community on up," Brazile told Jenkins.
"We meet together as one," she said. "The president of the United States and the clergy and the community as one. We are one people."