As President Donald Trump faces criticism for his handling of the civil unrest following George Floyd’s death, American model Emily Ratajkowski continues to speak critically of the legacy of former President Barack Obama. On Sunday evening, Ratajkowski addressed the pushback to her critique of Obama’s handling of the Ferguson, Missouri protests and riots, and spoke in support of holding all politicians accountable, regardless of their party affiliation.
“Also I’m just so confused why everyone wants to resist any criticism of Obama?” Ratajkowski tweeted. “This isn’t Star Wars. There is no dark side vs Jedi. Politicians on BOTH the right & the left need to be criticized & held accountable so that they don’t pander to corporate & neoliberalist agendas.”
Ratajkowski’s criticism of Obama comes as footage capturing various instances of police brutality and aggression continues to spread on social media. While Trump’s support of this aggressive approach has drawn criticism, Ratajkowski highlighted the similar violence that took place on Obama’s watch.
“Obama let Ferguson’s police department tear gas & beat citizens who were protesting the murder of #michaelbrown. He also sent the National Guard so…” she tweeted Sunday evening.
And to everyone saying “what was Obama supposed to do when the Missouri governor ordered in the National Guard?!” Here is an example of what Eisenhower did in Arkansas when their governor ordered the National Guard to stop the integration of schools, so…. pic.twitter.com/iFyJi1FyNY
— Emily Ratajkowski (@emrata) June 14, 2020
Not long after the tweet, Ratajkowski shared a 2016 Washington Post piece by Mychal Denzel Smith that accused Obama of failing the Black Lives Matter movement. Smith pointed to Obama’s letter to law enforcement, which addressed the killing of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge — violence the then-president called “vicious, calculated and despicable.”
While Smith acknowledged the tragic nature of the deaths, he highlighted Obama’s decision to avoid discussion of the purportedly disproportionate amount of violence that law enforcement inflict on the communities they serve. According to Smith, Obama’s letter engaged in the “mythologizing of police heroism,” that offers them protection from “prosecution and reform.”
— Emily Ratajkowski (@emrata) June 11, 2020
Ratajkowski’s outspoken comments on politics have caused pushback from some who suggest she isn’t qualified to express her opinion on such issues.
“Yeah because the ‘policy makers’ have been doing such a great job,” she tweeted in response to one critic before claiming that “[e]veryone should be involved” in politics.
As reported by Vogue, Ratajkowski was openly supportive of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders during his presidential run. Other Sanders supporters have also been open with their criticism of Barack Obama. For example, progressive commentator Michael Brooks previously slammed a video in which the former president endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Brooks said that Obama was the head of the right-wing, corporate wing of the Democratic Party and suggested that his hopeful message was nothing but a performance that would unlikely lead to tangible change.