The difference in Trump and Obama's statements on George Floyd's death speaks volumes

Greg Evans
Saturday 30 May 2020 10:30
news

The response from president Trump to the death of George Floyd and the subsequent rioting is, how shall we say it, not very presidential.

Firstly, Trump was censored by Twitter for appearing to glorify violence for saying 'when the looting stars, the shooting starts' in an apparent threat to the protestors.

Although he has since said that 'George Floyd will not have died in vain' Trump did spend most of his Friday on Twitter, complaining about social media firms, China and at one point appeared to gloat that the protestors in Atlanta had smashed the entrance of the city's CNN office.

He also opted to not make any comments about the situation in his daily press conference but did declare that he was withdrawing the US from the World Heatlh Organisation, in the middle of a pandemic.

At this stage, it almost feels churlish to compare Trump and Barack Obama but the gap in decency and intelligent discourse, especially on this issue is quite staggering.

On Friday afternoon the former president posted this on his Twitter account:

In the statement, Obama accounts the conversations that he has had with friends in recent days about Floyd's death and the range of emotions that they have felt adding:

This shouldn't be "normal" in 2020 America. It can't be "normal." If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must be better.

Obama also mentions the viral video from 12-year-old Keedron Bryant, who sings:

Every day/I’m being hunted as prey … My people want no trouble/We’ve had enough struggle … I just want to live.

Obama shared the video on his Facebook page.

Needless to say, Obama's statement has received far more praise than anything Trump has said:

Michelle Obama also shared her thoughts in a heartfelt Twitter threat paying tribute to not just George Floyd but other victims of violence and brutality.

Melania Trump has also released a statement about the subject, which didn't condemn the death of Floyd but did call for 'peace, prayers and healing' which is more than her husband has done.

In the wake of Floyd's death mass rioting and violence have broken out across the United States with clashes even being reported outside the White House. Derek Chauvin, the police officer who was recorded with his knee on the back of Floyd's death has since been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

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