Michelle Obama has released a statement on the unrest spreading across the country after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, saying she is “exhausted” by the heartbreak brought on by the killings of people of color and adding that “it’s up to all of us” to root out racism.
The former first lady put out a statement on Twitter on Friday after several days of sometimes violent unrest that started in Minneapolis and has spread to a number of cities across the country after Floyd died in police custody on Monday. Obama shared artwork depicting Floyd and posted a message acknowledging the cases of people of color killed by police in recent years.
“Right now it’s George, Breonna, and Ahmaud. Before that it was Eric, Sandra, and Michael. It just goes on, and on, and on,” she wrote.
Obama added that everyone across the country must come together to confront and eliminate racism.
“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 color to deal with it,” she said.
“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. It starts with self-examination and listening to those whose lives are different from our own.”
Michelle Obama released a statement shortly after one from her husband, former President Barack Obama, lamenting that people are still treated so drastically different based on their race. Like the statement from his wife, Barack Obama said that people must work together to create a “new normal” where “the legacy of bigotry and unequal treatment no longer infects our institutions or hearts.”
A number of other leaders across the country have called for calm in the wake of several nights of violent protests in major cities. In Atlanta, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told violent protesters to “go home” after protests there turned destructive as demonstrators destroyed police cars and vandalized and looting CNN Center. Bottoms invoked Martin Luther King Jr. in calling on them to protest with a purpose. Leaders across Minnesota have also called for peace as the protests continued there and have grown in intensity, with protesters on Thursday setting fire to a police precinct building where Floyd’s arresting officers had been stationed.
With more protests scheduled for Saturday, some have expressed worry that the unrest could continue or lead to more violent confrontations between protesters and police. As The Inquisitr reported, the U.S. military has been put on alert that it may need to respond to help quell unrest.