Former first lady Michelle Obama said it was “up to all of us — Black, white, everyone” to root out racism as she responded on social media to the death of George Floyd.
Obama revealed in an Instagram post on Friday that she was “pained “and “exhausted by a heartbreak that never seems to stop,” noting how “race and racism is a reality that so many of us grow up learning to just deal with.”
“Right now it’s George, Breonna, and Ahmaud. Before that it was Eric, Sandra, and Michael. It just goes on, and on, and on,” she wrote
“But if we ever hope to move past it, it can’t just be on people of color to deal with it,” Obama continued. “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.”
Obama said it “starts with self-examination and listening to those whose lives are different from our own” and “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,” Obama concluded the post, which featured illustrations by artist Nikkolas Smith.
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Floyd, an unarmed Black man, died in Minneapolis on Monday after a police officer knelt on his neck. Four Minneapolis police officers were fired following Floyd’s death, which was captured on camera and sparked protests nationwide.
Officer Derek Chauvin was arrested and charged Friday with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Former President Barack Obama, meanwhile, said in a statement Friday that “this shouldn’t be ‘normal’ in 2020 America.”
“It’s natural to wish for life ‘to just get back to normal’ as a pandemic and economic crisis upend everything around us,” he said. “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 a park.”
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