Former First Lady Michelle Obama took to Instagram on Tuesday to praise the Black Lives Matter movement as she reflected on 2020.
“We’ve endured so much this past year, from the devastation of the pandemic to the ups and downs of a hard-won election,” Michelle wrote in her post. “But what has perhaps stayed with me most is the passionate message of justice and empathy that has defined the Black Lives Matter protests around the world.”
The Black Lives Matter protests that Michelle is referring to spread all over the country like wildfire in the wake of the death of George Floyd back in May.
In her post, Michelle highlighted the story of Patrick Hutchinson, a black man who became a viral sensation earlier his year after he was caught on camera carrying a white protester to safety during a demonstration in London.
Michelle explained that she chose to highlight Hutchinson because it’s difficult for her “to see so many people distort the unity and righteousness of these protests.”
“They’ve been sowing seeds of division, misrepresenting those crying out for justice as troublemakers or criminals. The truth is the millions around the world who showed up with their homemade signs were marching with the same kind of compassion that Mr. Hutchinson shows here,” she wrote.
“They’re folks who face discrimination on a daily basis because of the color of their skin. And they’re just asking to be shown the same level of humanity that our consciences demand we show anyone else in need,” she added.
Michelle is conveniently ignoring the fact that many times, these so-called “peaceful” Black Lives Matter protests really did devolve into violence and looting, but I digress.
“I hope more people can find it in their hearts to meet these cries for decency not with mistrust, but with love and a willingness to listen. Because as the COVID-19 crisis has made clear, our fates are inextricably bound. If the least of us struggles, we all in some way feel that pain,” Michelle added.
In 2021, Michelle is hoping that people will “reach out to understand the experiences of those who don’t look, or vote, or think like we do.”
“I pray that we learn to pause when we’re tempted to react in anger or suspicion. And I pray that we choose generosity and kindness over our worst impulses. That isn’t always easy. But it’s a place to start.”
This piece was written by James Samson on December 23, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.
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