Amidst nationwide protests against societally-embedded racism, President Donald Trump has consistently failed to outline any kind of meaningful path forward that comprehensively addresses the concerns of the demonstrators. Instead, he has singled out the isolated instances of rioting and consistently ranted and raved about how eager he is to turn the might of the federal government against American citizens — which he’s already done in D.C. and Portland, Oregon. In the colossal gap left by Trump’s failures, the Obamas have been helping take the lead. This Friday, as a nationwide outcry continued to build after the police shooting of a black man named Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, former First Lady Michelle Obama took to Twitter with a message for the demonstrators and their allies.
She began, in part:
‘I’m just devastated by the shootings in Kenosha. First, the seven shots from a police officer’s gun at Jacob Blake’s back as his children looked on. Then, two nights later, the bullets that killed two protestors, with a young man only 17 years old arrested and charged with homicide.’
That 17-year-old shooter was a young white man from Illinois who’d traveled to confront the anti-racism demonstrators in Wisconsin. The shooter, named Kyle Rittenhouse, is a Trump supporter — and obviously a rather devoted one, since he was caught on camera in the front row of a January Trump rally in Iowa, a long way from where he apparently actually lived. In the aftermath of Rittenhouse’s attack, Fox News host Tucker Carlson attracted swift backlash for essentially attempting to justify the shooting. According to Carlson, Rittenhouse was simply “trying to maintain order when no one else would.” Actually, he’s a murderer.
A 17-year-old Trump supporter brought a rifle to a protest against police brutality and shot two people dead and, in response, Tucker Carlson, a member of the United States Congress, and many others on the right DEFENDED THE PERSON CHARGED WITH FIRST DEGREE MURDER
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) August 28, 2020
Meanwhile, Michelle Obama continued:
‘These past few months, I’ve been thinking a lot about what our kids are seeing every day in this country—the lack of empathy, the division stoked in times of crisis, the age-old and systemic racism that’s been so prominent this summer. Sometimes they see it on the news. Sometimes they see it from the White House Rose Garden… we’re so often left wondering how things will get better. But then I see the swift and powerful protests that have risen up around the country—from the world of sports to the folks standing up peacefully and purposefully in their own communities—and I see the glimmers of something different.’
The protests, she added, are “opening eyes, rattling consciences, and reminding people of all backgrounds that this problem wasn’t solved earlier this summer and it won’t be any time soon unless we all make a change.” That change, she implied, can be secured through voting against Donald Trump this November.
Her full statement can be found in the post below:
I’m just devastated by the shootings in Kenosha. And I can’t stop thinking about what our kids are seeing every day—and our obligations to them going forward.
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) August 28, 2020
Check out Twitter’s response below: