File photo of former US president Barack Obama. Photograph:( AFP )
The former president called on Americans to come together to create a 'new normal' in order to root out institutional racism.
Former US president Barack Obama has issued a statement on the death of George Floyd, saying the country needed to create a new normal for Americans of colour.
My statement on the death of George Floyd: pic.twitter.com/Hg1k9JHT6R— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) May 29, 2020
Obama said that despite many Americans' desire to return to ''normal'' amid the coronavirus pandemic, racial discrimination is “maddeningly” normal for people of colour.
''This shouldn’t be 'normal' in 2020 America,'' Obama said. ''It can’t be 'normal.'''
In his statement, Obama referred to Floyd's death but also two other high-profile recent racial incidents in the US, one involving a black jogger who was shot dead by two white men in Georgia and a black man who had a confrontation with a white woman while bird-watching in a park in New York.
''If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must be better," he added.
The first African-American president of the United States also said that he shared the "anguish" of millions of Americans over the death of a black man killed by police in Minnesota.
The former president called on Americans to come together to create a ''new normal'' in order to root out institutional racism.
Floyd died after being apprehended by police Monday. A video that went viral shows an officer pinning his knee to Floyd's neck as he is on the ground, saying, "I can't breathe." The four officers involved have been fired, and investigations are ongoing. No charges have yet been announced.
His death in police custody has led to outrage across the nation and protests in many cities, including in Minneapolis, where violence has broken out over several nights this week.