Barack and Michelle Obama Pay Tribute to George Floyd, Claim Last Year Has ‘Given Us Reasons to Hope’

Obama
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Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama paid tribute to George Floyd on the one-year anniversary of his death, urging Americans to turn action into “meaningful reform” and concluding that the last year — which saw a wave of violent protests and riots resulting in injured police officers and damaged businesses — has “given us reasons to hope.”

“George Floyd was murdered one year ago today. Since then, hundreds more Americans have died in encounters with police—parents, sons, daughters, friends taken from us far too soon,” the former president said Tuesday. “But the last year has also given us reasons to hope.”

“Today, more people in more places are seeing the world more clearly than they did a year ago. It’s a tribute to all those who decided that this time would be different—and that they, in their own ways, would help make it different,” he continued, contending progress “takes time.”

“But if we can turn words into action and action into meaningful reform, we will, in the words of James Baldwin, ‘cease fleeing from reality and begin to change it,'” Obama added:

Notably, Obama did not mention the violent riots that rocked the country last summer, hallmarked by vandalism, acts of arson, and looting. According to Axios, the George Floyd protests “will cost the insurance industry more than any other violent demonstrations in recent history,” costing anywhere from $1 billion to $2 billion in paid insurance claims, per the outlet.

Michelle Obama also paid homage to Floyd, sharing a video of his daughter saying, “Daddy changed the world.”

“It’s been a year since those horrifying 8 minutes and 46 seconds stole George Floyd’s life. Today, I am thinking of this clip of his daughter Gianna, and all the young people out there who have seen so much, but refuse to give up hope,” she said.

“All of us have a role to play to hold our leaders accountable and speak out about injustice. Let’s make sure that ‘Daddy changed the world’ isn’t a fleeting moment online, but a lasting change across the country,” Obama continued, concluding Floyd “did change the world” and adding, “Now it’s up to the rest of us to continue changing it for the better”:

Last month, a grand jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. He faces up to 40 years in prison and will be sentenced in June.

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