Obama responds to George Floyd death, highlighting how racism is 'normal' in 2020 America
Former President Barack Obama released a statement on George Floyd, saying his death "shouldn't be normal in 2020 America."
Floyd died while pleading for air as a white police officer knelt on his neck. His death sparked protests across the country and led to the arrest of one officer and the firings of three others involved.
Obama wrote that many people want life to go back to "normal" during the coronavirus crisis but highlighted that systemic racism is also "normal" in America, referencing the death of Ahmaud Arbery and the confrontation between Christian Cooper and Amy Cooper in Central Park.
"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 a park," Obama wrote.
Obama also noted that Keedron Bryan, a 12-year-old gospel singer, posted a powerful video of him singing a song about being young and black in America.
Obama added that while it falls on officials in Minnesota to ensure Floyd's death is properly investigated, it is on all Americans to create a "new normal" in which "the legacy of bigotry and unequal treatment no longer infects our institutions or our hearts."