Hiram Garcia/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
The Rock has one simple message for President Trump: “Where are you?”
In a long message posted early this morning (June 4), Dwayne Johnson went in, not directly addressing the president by name but calling out his lack of visibility at a time of mass protests and demonstrations against police violence and killings. “Where is our leader at this time?” he asked. “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, beginning and pleading and praying for change?”
He further addressed the lack of leadership, continuing the metaphor of a country down on its knees and wondering where the president is, knowing he could use his position to try to unite the country and raise the nation back up. Assuming the first-person voice of the absent leader, he specifically called out failures “to do everything I can to create the change that is needed, to normalize equality because black lives matter.”
“Where are you?” he repeated.
Last week, Johnson posted a photo of George Floyd’s “I can’t breathe” quote — some of his final words before dying with his neck under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer — along with a caption acknowledging that while he had “good men” cops in his family, “When a man is handcuffed, on the ground, no longer a threat, with your brothers in arms standing around watching and he struggles to say, ‘please I can’t breathe’ when your knee is on his neck.. not his back, but his neck – cutting off his air. Cop code must become moral code. Ethics code. HUMANITY code.”
Today’s message found The Rock also grappling with the persistent tenor of All Lives Matter counter-arguments. “Of course all lives matter,” he said, “but in this moment right now — this defining, pivotal, explosive moment where our country is down on its knees… — we must say the words ‘black lives matter.'”
He also painted a vivid picture of a country united behind a leader whose words can bring about necessary change, as well as the larger actions of accountability behind “hundreds of years of systemic disease.” “You would be surprised how people in pain would respond when you say to them, ‘I care about you,'” he said, referencing protestors. (He further thanked demonstrators around the globe and called them “incredible” and “inspiring” for their “beautiful displays of solidarity.”)
In a canny bit of past presidential echoing, The Rock winded down his message by pseudo-quoting Barack Obama’s 2008 line, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” The accompanying caption for his Instagram post explored that thought further. “Where are you? Because we’re all here,” he wrote. “Maybe one day that galvanizing leader will emerge. Either way, the process to change has already begun. #normalizeequality #blacklivesmatter.”
Watch Rocky go in — like he’s cutting a championship promo in 1999 — in the full video above.