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Dwayne Johnson has a question for Trump: ‘Where is our compassionate leader?’

Dwayne Johnson
Dwayne Johnson shared a lengthy video message directed to President Trump.
(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Dwayne Johnson has made a passionate plea to President Trump as protests demanding justice for the black community across the country continue to end in arrests and police violence.

In lengthy video message shared Wednesday on social media, the “Jumanji” star implored Trump to show up for and listen to American citizens. As the Black Lives Matter movement is gaining momentum, Trump has threatened to deploy the military in cities where protesters are marching against racism and police brutality.

“Where are you?” Johnson asked Trump in the video. “Where is our leader at this time ... when our country is down on its knees, begging, pleading, hurt, angry, frustrated, in pain — begging and pleading with its arms out — just wanting to be heard. Begging and pleading and praying for change. Where are you? Where is our compassionate leader who’s going to step up to our country?”

In recent weeks, Johnson and several other Hollywood figures have been using their platforms to support the Black Lives Matter cause, spurred into action by the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others.

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“Stand up with me,” Johnson continued. “You have my word that I’m going to do everything in my power — until my dying day, my last breath — to do everything I can to create the change that is needed to normalize equality, because black lives matter. ...

“It’s that same compassionate leader who has to come back and readdress the country to give important context. ... All lives matter, but in this moment right now — this defining, pivotal, explosive moment where our country is down on its knees — the floorboards of our country are becoming unhinged. In this moment, we must say the words, ‘black lives matter.’ Where are you?”

The former pro wrestler also condemned the force with which protesters have been met, as many demonstrators — and journalists — have been harmed by police firing teargas and rubber bullets.

“There is military force that has been deployed on our own people,” he said. “Looters, yes. Criminals, absolutely. But our protesters who are begging and pleading, our protesters who are in pain. You would be surprised how people in pain would respond when you say to them, ‘I care about you.’ When you say to them, ‘I’m listening to you.’”

Johnson’s emotional address comes on the heels of another powerful speech made in London by “Star Wars” actor John Boyega vowing to prioritize the revolution over his own career, as well as a viral video of “Hustlers” actress Keke Palmer challenging the National Guard to march with protesters in Hollywood.

Both Boyega and Palmer received high praise for their activism, drawing an outpouring of support from several in the entertainment industry who promised to hire them for future projects. Other celebrities who have taken to the streets include Nick Cannon, Tessa Thompson, Michael B. Jordan, Halsey, Ariana Grande and Kendrick Sampson.

“I’m not the president of the United States,” Johnson said. “But I am a man, and I am a father who cares so deeply about my family, about my children and the world that they will live in. I care so deeply about our country and every single person in it.

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“That’s why I am a man who is frustrated. I’m disappointed. I’m angry. But I’m also doing my best to stay focused and as calm as I could possibly be in the pocket to make the best decisions for my family and make the best decisions for our country.”


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