Michelle Obama says "it’s up to all of us" to root out racism

Mehera Bonner
Photo credit: Paul Marotta - Getty Images

From Prima

Former First Lady Michelle Obama has released a statement about the importance of self-examination and rooting out racism following the murder of George Floyd – whose death has prompted nationwide protests against racism and police brutality in America.

She began her post by saying she's "exhausted by a heartbreak that never seems to stop", and continued: "Right now it’s George, Breonna, and Ahmaud. Before that it was Eric, Sandra, and Michael. It just goes on, and on, and on. 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 colour 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," Michelle wrote. "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. 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."

Barack Obama has also taken to social media to share his reaction to the death of George Floyd, sharing a number of conversations he has had with friends in recent days – and arguing that "it falls of on all of us" to work together to "create a new normal".

"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.⁣ ⁣⁣

"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."

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