All I can say is no, no, and no. And like a lot of a comfortable white people, it rings of too little, too late. What can I do? Maybe make some of you less comfortable by mentioning this, here, in my usual sunny place. But I cannot stand what’s happening. It makes me sick and breaks my heart. I had thought I just wanted everything to get back to normal. Then I read this, and I want you to, too. Now, I’m going to dig in the garden and plant something to eat and something to help us breathe fresher air, and work on creating a new normal in my own heart and think of at least one concrete way that I can address the legacy of bigotry and unequal treatment in my community. Yes, of course it’s here. It’s everywhere.
It’s natural to wish for life “to just get back to normal” as a pandemic and economic crisis upend everything around us. But we have to remember that for millions of Americans, being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly “normal” — whether it’s while dealing with the health care system, or interacting with the criminal justice system, or jogging down the street, or just watching birds in a park.
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.
It will fall mainly on the officials of Minnesota to ensure that the circumstances surrounding George Floyd’s death are investigated thoroughly and that justice is ultimately done. But it falls on all of us, regardless of our race or station — including the majority of men and women in law enforcement who take pride in doing their tough job the right way, every day — to work together to create a “new normal” in which the legacy of bigotry and unequal treatment no longer infects our institutions or our hearts.– Barack Obama