Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama remember George Floyd on the two-year anniversary of his assassination. On April 20, 2021, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted and sentenced to 22 years in prison on charges related to Floyd’s death. On May 25, the former POTUS and FLOTUS shared tributes to Floyd on their respective Instagram accounts, taking time to activism sparked by anger following his death and acknowledging the recent mass shootings that are also dominating headlines. on this painful anniversary.
“As we mourn the Uvalde children today, we must take the time to acknowledge that two years have passed since the killing of George Floyd under the knee of a police officer,” the former president wrote. Instagramacknowledging the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on May 24. “His murder remains with us to this day, especially those who loved him.”
In her own postthe former first lady added: “I know a lot is happening right now and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the grief coming at us from all sides. Yesterday was the mindless horror and murder of schoolchildren and educators in Uvalde, Texas. Shortly before this, there had been a horrific murder of blacks in Buffalo. Today we remember another trauma that is still with us in many ways. It has been two years since George Floyd was brutally murdered by a police officer. Remembering that video and those nine minutes and 29 seconds still shakes many of us to the core, and that’s how it should be.”
After so many instances of preventable gun violence, the Obamas recognized the severe mental and emotional toll collectively experienced across the country and urged readers to harness their emotions and turn them into action. “Due to [Floyd’s] killings, a new generation of activists has risen to channel their suffering into organized action, launching a movement to raise awareness of systemic racism and the need for criminal justice and police reform,” the former president wrote.
“Let’s remember the wave of protests that shook our conscience.”
The former FLOTUS continued: “As we reflect on his murder and mourn those schoolchildren, let us also remember the millions of people who turned their sadness and anger into activism two years ago. Let’s remember the wave of protests that shook our conscience. Let’s get back to working on change – whether it has to do with how our communities are protected, how our criminal justice system is structured, or how long we will continue to accept gun violence as a way of life.”
She concluded by reminding readers that gun violence is not inevitable and encouraged everyone to act in ways big and small. “And most importantly, while it hurts right now, let’s remember that we shouldn’t accept this as inevitable,” she wrote. “So if you’re feeling lost today, hug those you love and do everything you can to push our country – and the people who lead it – to become a little stronger, bolder and better for all of us.”
Learn more about ways to take action and get information here and at Obama Foundation Web site.