Dwayne Johnson aka “The Rock” took over Instagram on Wednesday with his 8 mins and 25 secs long passionate speech addressing the recent protests in USA and all over the world.
In a way, he questioned the leadership of Donald Trump without specifically saying his name. In his video, he told,” Where are you? Where is our leader when our country is down on its knees begging and pleading with its arms out?”
In the recent days, many voices have been crying out on the president not providing the kind of passionate leadership this country needs in these challenging times. However, Hollywood was not yet fully into this issue, until The Rock posted his long video on Instagram.
It looked as if he was representing the whole black race when he said, “where is that
compassionate leader, who is gonna step to a country, who’s down on his knees to extend a hand for all who are in pain?”
This video was unexpected but not unjustified, especially after Trump’s recent tweet with the punchline, “When looting begins, shooting begins”.
The Rock also had his say on the heated debates on “All Lives Matter” VS “Black Lives Matter”. He said. “Of-course all lives matter. Every single one because we, as Americans, we believe in inclusivity, acceptance, and human rights. We believe in equality for all.” He added, “But in this defining, pivotal, and explosive moments, when the floorboards of our country are becoming unhinged, we must say the words, Black Lives Matter.”
He spoke emotionally throughout his video plea. Again, and again, he asked Trump one simple question, “Where are you?” Johnson spoke for 8 minutes and 25 seconds, which is just 21 seconds shy of how long George Floyd was face down on the ground pleading for his life with former officer Derek Chauvin’s knee on his neck.
Along with Chauvin, three other officers stood like statues watching Floyd’s pleas who was suspected to use a counterfeit $20 bill. Even the nearby crowd gathered around requesting the officers to at least let him breath and use the handcuffs instead. But Chauvin did not relent and he kept pressing his knee remained against Floyd’s neck for several minutes even after Floyd lost consciousness.
All four men officers now facing charges. Chauvin is accused of 2nd-degree murder and 2nd- degree manslaughter charges, while the other three are accused for aiding and abetting the murder.
Since then, protests took over the world, spreading into all 50 states and countries around the world. The president has been subjected to significant criticism for his rhetoric to “dominate” protesters and create a military presence on the ground.
Johnson also has his say on this when he pleaded to the president to consider compassion over military forces. “Looters, yes. Criminals, absolutely” he expressed. “But our protesters, who are begging and pleading, who are in pain.”. He sounded quite emotional while quoting, “You would be surprised how people in pain would respond when you tell them, I care about you. I’m listening to you.”
He further pushed the edges by challenging the president to step up and take the ownership of something that is so much bigger than whatever rhetoric he shouts. Something that’s much deeper than his capacity and much longer than his life. He challenged him to take “full accountability of the ‘systemic disease’ which is hundreds of years old.”
However, in the absence of such strong and compassionate leadership, the Rock is calling out to the common citizens, “We must be the leaders we are looking for. We have to become our own leaders. And what I see right now in the streets with these protests, are calls for change.”
In the end he also thanked other countries, who stood by the American protesters by saying, “I want to take a moment to thank the world, for standing up with us in this fight to normalize equality.” He further added, “I want to thank all these countries around the world who are incredibly inspiring beautiful displays of solidarity.”
Many commenters to his post made callbacks to the previous comments Johnson has made about considering a run for president in his future. While he made a joke out of it by creating a fantasy ticket with Tom Hanks on “Saturday Night Live”, now his fans can take it on a much serious note.