On the one year anniversary of George Floyd’s death on Tuesday, former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle spoke out to pay tribute to him, and to say that the last year 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,” Obama wrote on Twitter. “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, going on to add that 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 concluded.
Michelle also honored Floyd by sharing a video to social media in which his daughter Gianna said that “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,” Michelle wrote alongside the video.
“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,” Michelle continued.
“I’m sending all my love to Gianna and to the rest of the Floyd family today,” she concluded. “Her dad did change the world, and now it’s up to the rest of us to continue changing it for the better.”
It’s been a month since a Minneapolis jury found former police Officer Derek Chauvin guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Floyd. Chauvin is facing up to forty years in prison when he is sentenced next month.
This piece was written by James Samson on May 25, 2021. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.
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