Former President Barack Obama used the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, to memorialize the death of George Floyd, even though the two tragedies have almost no relation.
Indeed, Wednesday, May 25, marks the two-year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, but instead of just commemorating the day on its own, the former president tied the horrific massacre in Texas, which left 19 children and two teachers dead, to Floyd’s memory.
“As we grieve the children of Uvalde today, we should take time to recognize that two years have passed since the murder of George Floyd under the knee of a police officer,” the former president tweeted. “His killing stays with us all to this day, especially those who loved him.”
“In the aftermath of his murder, a new generation of activists rose up to channel their anguish into organized action, launching a movement to raise awareness of systemic racism and the need for criminal justice and police reform,” he added.
The president then plugged the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance and its “Reimagining Policing Pledge.”
While few, except maybe the pro-Chauvin hardliners, would begrudge anyone for commemorating George Floyd on the anniversary of his death, the former president’s decision to tie it in with a current and raw national tragedy sparked significant backlash.
In line with most mainstream Democrats, the former president also used Tuesday’s horrific massacre to push gun control.
“Michelle and I grieve with the families in Uvalde, who are experiencing pain no one should have to bear,” the former president said, adding:
We’re also angry for them. Nearly ten years after Sandy Hook—and ten days after Buffalo—our country is paralyzed, not by fear, but by a gun lobby and a political party that have shown no willingness to act in any way that might help prevent these tragedies. It’s long past time for action, any kind of action. And it’s another tragedy—a quieter but no less tragic one—for families to wait another day.