As preliminary details emerged surrounding the Brooklyn Center, Minnesota police killing of 20-year-old Daunte Wright, Joe Biden was asked for a response and his comments were, well, underwhelming to say the least. After acknowledging that the body cam footage from the incident is “graphic,” Biden says that no assessment of guilt should be made until after a thorough investigation, and then immediately transitions into expressing his insistence that whatever happened to Wright, there is no excuse for lawlessness and looting.

In this clip from The Damage Report, John and Dan Evans respond to Biden’s milquetoast, presumptively victim-blaming statement that buys into the kind of right-wing framing about protests that frequently emerges following police killings. Dan says the Biden statement reflects the President’s ego and interest in appearing as a calming, unifying voice who can reduce tensions and maintain order. If that means glossing over the real struggles faced by black, brown and indigenous communities in this country, well, that’s a price he’s willing to let those people pay, Dan says.

John agrees, noting that Joe Biden came into office pledging to restore the “soul” of America. But from what we’re now hearing from the White House, that restoration apparently doesn’t involve stopping the police from continuing to kill people - that must be a different “soul,” he says.