Michelle Obama took to social media Friday to share her perspective on the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed on Monday after a white police officer in Minneapolis pressed his knee to the man’s neck, despite pleas for him to stop.
“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,” wrote Obama referencing the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery — as well as those of Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, and Michael Brown. “It just goes on, and on, and on.”
Obama also lent thoughts on how the nation can potentially move forward. “Race and racism is a reality that so many of us grow up learning to just deal with,” she wrote. “But if we ever hope to move past it, it can’t just be on people of color to deal with it. 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. It ends with justice, compassion, and empathy that manifests in our lives and on our streets.”
On Friday, former President Barack Obama also shared a statement on the death of Floyd tweeting, “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 up to its highest ideals, we can and must be better.”
In their messages, the former first couple stressed the amount of work needed to heal the country’s wounds. “...it falls on all of us,” wrote Barack, “regardless of our race or station — including the majority of men and women in law enforcement who take pride in doing their tough job the right way, every day — to work together to create a ‘new normal’ in which the legacy of bigotry and unequal treatment no longer infects our institutions or our hearts.”
Michelle also noted the long road ahead, ending her Friday statement with, “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.”