Former First Lady Michelle Obama has spoken out about racial injustice after the recent killing of George Floyd. On Friday, she took to social media to share her thoughts on the recent tragedies, revealing she is exhausted by heartbreak and calling on everyone to join the fight against racism.
"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," she wrote on Instagram alongside paintings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery (the artwork done by the artist Nikkolas Smith).
Obama continued: "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. 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."
The former first lady goes on to to explain how we can all work toward change. "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," she wrote.
She then finished her post with a statement of hope: "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."
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama shared similar sentiments on his Instagram account. "It can't be 'normal,'" the former president wrote, speaking about racism. "If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must be better."
He continued: "It will fall mainly on the officials of Minnesota to ensure that the circumstances surrounding George Floyd’s death are investigated thoroughly and that justice is ultimately done. But it falls on all of us, 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."
Barack and Michelle Obama have long been vocal about racial injustice in this country, and to many, they have become a perpetual voice of reason in a time of social unrest. Their powerful statements come as protests erupt around the nation in response to the murder of George Floyd and the tragic trend of police brutality against people of color.
To learn how did get involved, follow organizations like the ACLU, NAACP, and Color of Change. Demand justice by signing petitions and calling on local officials to act now. Finally, if you can, consider donating to organizations like the Minnesota Freedom Fund, Unicorn Riot, and The Bail Fund.
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