Michelle Obama says she’s ‘devastated’ by shootings in Kenosha

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Former first lady Michelle Obama shared on Friday that she’s “devastated” by the shootings in Kenosha, Wis., this week, including the police shooting of Jacob Blake and the shooting of three protesters that left two dead and one injured.

“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. And sometimes they see it from the back seat of a car,” Obama shared in a lengthy post on social media. 

“Like so many of you, I’m exhausted and frustrated right now. It’s a weight that I know Black and Brown people all across the country are shouldering once again. And we’re so often left wondering how things will get better,” Obama continued.

Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot seven times in the back by a Kenosha police officer on Sunday. His three children were in the car when he was shot.

Blake survived the shooting but is currently paralyzed from the waist down.

Protests erupted in Kenosha this week following the shooting. During one of the protests, two demonstrators were fatally shot and one was wounded. Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old from Illinois, has been charged by prosecutors in the shooting.

Obama on Friday lauded the protests across the country that have called for widespread police reform and other racial justice measures.  

“These protests and actions will not make Jacob Blake walk again. They will not erase the trauma from those children. And they will not bring back anyone who’s been taken from us. But they will do something. They already are – opening eyes, rattling consciences, and reminding people of all backgrounds that this problem wasn’t solved earlier in the summer and won’t be any time soon unless we all make a change,” she wrote.

Obama encouraged protesters to continue demonstrating, calling on everyone to “keep speaking out wherever you are – board rooms, class rooms, dining rooms, break rooms, locker rooms – because if enough of us do that, we’ll open up even more minds. And maybe we can prevent the next name from being added to this seemingly unending list of tragedies.”

The former first lady shared a list of resources through the Obama Foundation calling for police reforms and other initiatives, in addition to urging people to vote.

Obama also tweeted a video Friday, the anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic “I Have a Dream Speech,” urging social media users to vote.

Thousands of people flocked to Washington, D.C., on Friday to march against racial injustice and police brutality on the anniversary of the historic civil rights event.

Tags George Floyd Jacob Blake kenosha Michelle Obama police brutality

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