Barack Obama weighed in on the tragic death of George Floyd by issuing a statement via social media on Friday saying “this shouldn’t be ‘normal’ in 2020 America.”
Obama records a conversation with an unnamed friend and mentions a song by a 12-year-old artist named Keedron on Floyd’s death in the statement. In it, Obama shares how the circumstances of his friend and Keedron are different but “the anguish is still the same.”
Floyd died Monday during a confrontation with police captured on video recorded by a bystander. The video shows Floyd pleading as officer Derek Chauvin kneels on Floyd’s neck. Since Floyd’s death, protests have erupted across the country.
“It’s natural to wish for life “to just get back to normal” as a pandemic and economic crisis upend everything around us,” Obama 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.”
The former president said Minnesota officials must ensure that Floyd’s death is thoroughly investigated, but he said it “falls on all of us” to “create a new normal in which the legacy of bigotry and unequal treatment no longer infects our institutions or our hearts.”
Four Minneapolis police officers have been fired following Floyd’s death, and Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has activated the National Guard amid protests and looting.
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