WASHINGTON — Reacting to the death of George Floyd and the protests in Minneapolis, former President Obama said Friday that the racism being experienced by African Americans and other minorities shouldn’t be considered “normal” in 2020 America.
“This shouldn’t be ‘normal’ in 2020 America,” Obama wrote in a post on his official Twitter and Instagram accounts. “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.”
My statement on the death of George Floyd: pic.twitter.com/Hg1k9JHT6R
The former president said people must “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.”
Obama said that it mainly falls on Minnesota officials to investigate the circumstances surrounding Floyd’s death in police custody 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,” he continued.
In his post, Obama shared conversations he had with friends recently “about the footage of George Floyd dying face down on the street under the knee of a police officer in Minnesota.” One friend whom Obama identified as a middle-aged African American businessman told the former president that he cried and broke down when he saw the video of Floyd’s death.
In his post, Obama did not address the violent protests that have occurred in Minneapolis, which have intensified in the days since Floyd’s death. The former president also made no mention of President Donald Trump’s tweet early Friday morning about the rioting in the city, which Democrats said was inciting violence against the protesters.