Barack Obama Speaks On George Floyd's Killing And The 'Maddening' Meaning Of 'Normalcy' For Black Americans
"This shouldn’t be 'normal' in 2020 America. It can’t be 'normal,'" the former POTUS said.
May 29, 2020 at 5:11 pm
Friday afternoon, Obama shared conversations he has had with a friend and a businessman who emailed him regarding Floyd’s killing, in which they discussed a sentiment of hurt.
“Dude I gotta tell you the George Floyd incident in Minnesota hurt. I cried when I saw that video. It broke me down,” he recalled one friend telling him. “The ‘knee on the neck’ is a metaphor for how the system so cavalierly holds Black folks down, ignoring the cries for help. People don’t care. Truly tragic.”
He also shared a video of Keedron Bryant in which the 12-year-old sings “I am a young Black man, doing all that I can to stand, but oh when I look around and I see what's being done to my kind, every day I'm being hunted as prey.”
As the country begins to reopen following lockdowns because of the coronavirus pandemic, 44 reminded everyone that "being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly 'normal.'"
Instead of opening the country back to what it was before, Obama urged Americans to change the systems in which Black people face injustices daily.
“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,” he wrote.
Obama called on Minnesota officials to investigate and seek justice for Floyd’s death. The father of two acknowledged that the majority of those in law enforcement “take pride in doing their tough job the right way, every day,” and advocated for them to aid in the fight. He also encouraged all Americans, “regardless of our race or station” to help combat racism and injustices.