Rev. Al Sharpton speaks at George Floyd's memorial service in Minneapolis, on June 4.
Rev. Al Sharpton speaks at George Floyd’s memorial service in Minneapolis, on June 4. WCCO

Rev. Al Sharpton delivered an incisive rebuke of racism and how for more than 400 years, black people have been marginalized because America “kept your knee on our neck.”

The imagery Sharpton used resonated at the memorial for George Floyd today in Minneapolis. Floyd was killed after a former police officer was seen kneeling on his neck on May 25.

“The reason we could never be who we wanted and dreamed of being is you kept your knee on our neck,” Sharpton said.

Sharpton added: “We were smarter than the underfunded schools you put us in but you had your knee on our neck. We could run corporations and not hustle in the streets, but you had your knee on our neck. We had creative skills, we could do whatever anybody else could do, but we couldn’t get your knee off our neck. What happened to Floyd happens every day in this country, in education, in health services, and in every area of American life. It is time for us to stand up in George’s name and say get your knee of our necks,” Sharpton said to applause.

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