When a heartless, racist, and revolting tragedy such as the murder of George Floyd happens, it is time for the President of the United States to stand up strongly and earnestly to offer genuine comfort to the grieving family. It is also time for the President to launch an unprecedented campaign to assure an aching and divided nation that such an ugly event cannot be who we are and will not happen again.
Sadly, we are far past the point of expecting anything resembling heartfelt sentiments or spiritual leadership from the current occupant of the Oval Office. Donald Trump is a craven creature who cares only about promoting himself and wounding others. In his nearly 74 years on the planet he has been attempting to devastate through environmental deregulation, Trump has displayed a rare enthusiasm for being a sadistic wrecking ball, taking glee in ruining relationships, tarnishing reputations, defrauding and betraying all who trust him, violating norms, and destroying countless innocent and precious lives.
By contrast, Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, was exactly the type of leader we need today. Although Obama is no longer President, America is fortunate that he is still around and does not hesitate to add his voice to the conversation when we need to hear it. We are also fortunate to have Michelle Obama offer her thoughts as we paddle through the political morass this gaslighting con artist has created while chewing on the souls of his minions.
In an Instagram post on Friday, Michelle Obama wrote that she is “pained by these recent tragedies” and “exhausted by a heartbreak that never seems to stop.” She urged Americans to engage in self-examination and focus more on compassion and empathy so that we can “do the honest, uncomfortable work of rooting [racism] out.” Obama then pointed out that racism can’t continue to be something that “many of us grow up learning to just deal with,” and she added that she prays “we all have the strength for that journey.”
Michelle Obama’s words dovetailed her husband’s equally sincere statement on Twitter. Barack Obama suggested that as we long to return to normal in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and accompanying economic uncertainty, we should focus on achieving a “new normal.” He urged Americans to remember that for millions of us, unequal treatment based on race is “tragically, painfully, maddeningly ‘normal’” and that “we can and must do better.”
The next time Donald Trump does something like tweet “MAGA NIGHT AT THE WHITE HOUSE” rather than deescalate violence, or when Melania Trump pulls another stunt like donning a jacket that reads, “I REALLY DON’T CARE. DO U?” on her way to detained migrant children who were ripped apart from their families, shake your head in outrage. Then, take a deep breath and read the poetic prose of Michelle and Barack Obama. Their eloquent writing is a welcome tonic for these challenging times.