An unnamed 24-year-old demonstrator protesting the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis criticized people looting and causing violence in riots in major cities around the United States in a viral interview with CNN Saturday night.

What he's saying: "This is what I gotta say to the people who are destroying things," the demonstrator said. "If you really feel like you have to take an opportunity, like you have to be opportunistic, something is wrong with you. If you cannot stand up and fight the good fight, and you want to be a cheater and go ahead and take what we're trying to do, something is wrong with you."

  • "Because what we're trying to do is stand up for the basic rights of humanity. And that's what we're trying to do, and we're trying to do it in a peaceful way. We do not want to go through this anymore, OK? I want to be able to go into a white neighborhood and feel safe."
  • "I want to be able, when a cop is driving behind me, I don't want to have to clench and be tense, OK? I want to be able just to be free and not have to think about every step I take. Because, at the end of the day, being black is a crime. At the end of the day, being born black is a crime to them. And I don't understand why, because we're all humans."

The backdrop: The protestor said he was an immigrant from Liberia, a country originally established in 1821 by the American Colonization Society — which included future presidents James Monroe and Andrew Jackson among its members — as a colony to exile free black Americans to Africa.

  • Upwards of 12,000 freeborn and formerly enslaved black Americans were sent or immigrated to Liberia over a 40-year period.
  • "I'm from the original place where when America got rid of slaves, they sent them to Liberia," the demonstrator said. "Liberia, home of American slaves, that's where I was born. And to think that I have to come here and I got to deal with this stuff at 24."

Go deeper ... George Floyd protests: What you need to know

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