'We feel your pain': Local experts respond to unrest in Minnesota

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- We've seen the images from Minnesota. Anger, rage, hurt and a city on edge.

The scenes are the result of the killing of George Floyd. Dr. Mary Frances Berry, Professor of African Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, says this is an old problem.

"What we are seeing is the latest incident of the perpetuation of white supremacy in this country and it's there and everywhere for everybody to see. We should not be so angry at the people being angry because they have a reason to be angry. What we need to do is respond and we have not done that," said Dr. Mary Frances Berry, Professor of History and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Dr. Berry says until the system changes, these deaths of African Americans will continue to happen and the violent outrage will likely follow. She opposes President Trump's tweet, when he referenced the protest, and said in part, "These thugs are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, I won't' let that happen."

"The thugs are the police officers who kill people. The thugs are the public officials who do nothing about these problems before they erupt," said Berry.

Lott, says the pain in the black community is generational and the result of years of violence against African Americans at the hands of police. She says it's difficult to heal the trauma that doesn't stop.

"As it relates to healing the system so to speak, that primary responsibility belongs to white America, to the people who created the system before they brought us here," said Psychologist, Dr. Sonya Lott.

Both experts have a message for those grieving in Minneapolis.

"I see you. We see you. We feel your pain. We understand the rage," said Lott.

"What you have to do is keep the pressure on and you have to insist and make sure that everyone understands that in fact, we want change to come," said Berry.

Both experts say they don't support the violence on the streets of Minneapolis and add that leaders have to respond to cases like these and show that justice is for everyone.
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