Michelle Obama Reflects on 2020 Black Lives Matter Movement
In 2020, an estimated 15 to 26 million people participated in nationwide demonstrations sparked by the death of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis. This was the largest movement in US history. On December 22nd, former First Lady Michelle Obama took to Instagram to reflect on the ongoing impact of the Black Lives Matter movement and the importance of accepting generosity, kindness and humanity on both an individual and societal level.
“For me, the holidays were always an opportunity to slow down and think,” wrote the former first lady. “We’ve been through so much in the past year, from the devastation of the pandemic to the ups and downs of a hard-won election. But what perhaps I have left most is the passionate message of justice and empathy that defines black has Lives Matter protests all over the world. “
“I hope that more people can find it in their hearts to meet these screams of propriety not with suspicion but with love and the willingness to listen.”
Addressing isolated cases of empathy, Michelle shared a video of Patrick Hutchinson, a protester in the UK who showed unwavering humanity as he escorted a stranger to safety during a protest against Black Lives Matter in June, despite the possibility that the man might one man was a counter-protester. “I want to highlight this story because it’s hard to see so many people distort the unity and justice of these protests,” wrote Michelle. “They have sown seeds of division and misrepresented those who cry out for justice as troublemakers or criminals. The truth is that the millions around the world who came up with their self-made marks marched with the same kind of compassion that Mr. Hutchinson here shows. “
It is this kind of empathy and compassion that the former first lady hopes will fuel future protests and demonstrations. “I hope that more people can find it in their hearts to meet these screams of propriety not with suspicion but with love and the willingness to listen,” she wrote. “Because, as the COVID-19 crisis has made clear, our fate is inextricably linked. When the slightest of us has problems, we all somehow feel this pain. And if we stop talking and march for equality, none of us will us doing this. ” Ever really be free. “
With the New Year in mind, Michelle pleaded that we all use what we learned about humanity and kindness in 2020 and apply those lessons to move forward in the ongoing struggle for social and racial justice. “I pray that in 2021 more of us will try to understand the experiences of those who don’t look, choose, or think like us,” she wrote. “I pray that we learn to pause when we are tempted to react in anger or suspicion. And I pray that we prefer generosity and kindness to our worst impulses. It is not always easy. But it is a start.”