Michelle Obama has spoken out about the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and sharing that she is “exhausted” about another loss of life due to police brutality.
Obama paid tribute to Floyd, who was killed earlier in the week in Minneapolis by former MPD police officer Derek Chauvin. According to the charging document, Chauvin placed his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes, 46 seconds, and kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for 2 minutes and 43 seconds after he lost consciousness and pleaded for help. Chauvin’s been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
The former FLOTUS let it be known her heart was heavy in a Twitter thread.
She invoked the names of others who have had their lives taken too soon like Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, and Ahmaud Arbery.
Like so many of you, I’m pained by these recent tragedies. And I’m exhausted by a heartbreak that never seems to stop. Right now it’s George, Breonna, and Ahmaud. Before that it was Eric, Sandra, and Michael. It just goes on, and on, and on. pic.twitter.com/lFWEtTzVT8
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) May 29, 2020
“Like so many of you, I’m pained by these recent tragedies. And I’m exhausted by a heartbreak that never seems to stop. Right now it’s George, Breonna, and Ahmaud. Before that it was Eric, Sandra, and Michael. It just goes on, and on, and on,” Obama wrote.
Obama, 56, noted that the current hardship is not one that is new or unique to African Americans. She called on others to help with addressing the racism that is embedded in the fabric of society.
“Race and racism is a reality that so many of us grow up learning to just deal with. But if we ever hope to move past it, it can’t just be on people of color to deal with it,” she continued.
Obama went on to post that everyone would have to reckon with uncomfortable truths in order to make room for healing.
“It’s up to all of us—Black, white, everyone—no matter how well-meaning we think we might be, to do the honest, uncomfortable work of rooting it out. It starts with self-examination and listening to those whose lives are different from our own.”
Obama ended her thread with the wish that the lives would not be in vain but offer a way forward that would lead to better days. At the moment, there is unrest in the nation as people take to the streets in protest over Floyd’s death.
“It ends with justice, compassion, and empathy that manifests in our lives and on our streets. I pray we all have the strength for that journey, just as I pray for the souls and the families of those who were taken from us.”
Earlier in the day, former President Barack Obama broke his silence about Floyd’s passing. The 44th president, 58, issued a statement on Twitter on Friday afternoon, just a few hours after President Donald Trump called for looters to be shot in a now-censored tweet.
“I want to share parts of the conversations I’ve had with friends over the past couple days about the footage of George Floyd dying face down on the street under the knee of a police officer in Minnesota,” he began before going on to share his friends’ heartbreak over the incident.
My statement on the death of George Floyd: pic.twitter.com/Hg1k9JHT6R
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) May 29, 2020
“The circumstances of my friend and Keedron may be different, but their anguish is the same. It’s shared by me and millions of others,” he said. “It’s natural to wish for life ‘to just get back normal’ as a pandemic and economic crisis upend everything around us. But we have to remember that for millions of Americans, being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly ‘normal’— whether it’s while dealing with the health care system, or interacting with the criminal justice system, or jogging down the street, or just watching birds in park.”
He continued, “This shouldn’t be ‘normal’ in 2020 America. It can’t be ‘normal.’ If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives to its highest ideals, we can and must be better.”
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