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It takes new laws it takes new laws to love and I think that's what this moment is calling for riven thank you thank you as the Reverend Raphael Warnock senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist church here in Atlanta thanks for talking with us great to be here now to the nation's capital as National Guard troops stream into Washington DC president trump is still talking tough about law and order but today for the first time an administration official spoke at length about what caused the protests the alleged murder of a black man by a white police officer and the remarks came from an unlikely place the Pentagon NPR's Tom Bowman joins us now to talk about the comments this morning from defense secretary mark esper he Tom his so what did secretary esper have to say today well first of all he called the killing of George Floyd a horrible crime and said the officer should be held accountable and then he went beyond that let's listen I want to extend deepest condolences to the family and friends of George Floyd from me and the department racism is real in America and we must all do our very best to recognize it to confront it and to eradicate it I've always been proud to be a member of an institution the United States military that embraces diversity and inclusion and prohibits hate and discrimination and all forms no the past you'd often hear president or Attorney General noted defense secretary talking about issues like racism in America so it was unusual in top military officers all of them white or sending similar messages to the troops army leaders in a statement said we can never fully understand the frustration and life experience of people of color Averell Michael day said I will never walk in the shoes of a black American or any other minority and can't imagine the feelings of pain disappointment and anger and Tom of course the military and as per himself have been in the middle of this issue many are criticizing us for for being too political including having a picture taken with president trump at a church across from the White House what this person about that well as for your your right he was sharply criticized by retired officers for that picture taken with the president Pentagon official resigned over it retired officers criticized man said he should resign today as per said he knew they were going to the church thought they were going to thank troops so do it was it was unaware of a photo op he said he tries to avoid anything political and urges the Pentagon not to get involved the troops not to get involved in anything political but there has been concern about trump repeatedly politicizing the military in S. VREs just not standing up to him and Tom hundreds of guard troops continue to head into DC but also active forces did as per address whether active military forces should be used in this way you know he did he said he didn't think active duty troops are necessary in this case so there's plenty of guard troops can they can handle that he said guard troops are appropriate he also said he opposed to president invoking the insurrection act which allows a president to send an active troops to Washington or any other states here's the other thing Sir I'm told it cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to send those active troops MPs and paratroopers to Washington into do that the Pentagon had to actually postpone or divert supply flights the troops in the Middle East that's NPR's Tom Bowman thank you so much Tom you're welcome you're listening to All Things Considered from NPR news KCRW sponsors.

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