Barack Obama on George Floyd’s Death: ‘Bigotry’ and Inequality ‘Painfully, Maddeningly Normal’ in USA
Former President Barack Obama on Friday weighed in on the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd, asserting racism in the United States is “tragically, painfully, maddeningly ‘normal.’”
“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 in a statement shared to social media. “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 the park.”
My statement on the death of George Floyd: pic.twitter.com/Hg1k9JHT6R— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) May 29, 2020
“This shouldn’t be ‘normal’ in 2020 America. It can’t be ‘normal,’” the former president added. “If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must do better.”
“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,” he concluded.
Absent from Obama’s statement was any condemnation of riots and looting occurred in Minnesota in the last 48 hours.
Protests over the police-involved death of Floyd continued well into the morning Friday after a third night of violence in Minneapolis, while similar disturbances broke out in Louisville and other parts of the country.
Late Thursday, demonstrators set fire to a police precinct building in the Minneapolis neighborhood where Floyd died Monday after he was restrained by a Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who knelt on his neck.