Michelle Obama is hopeful heading into 2021.
The former First Lady took to Instagram yesterday to reflect on the year we all experienced—including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, unfathomable loss, protests against police violence, and a racial reckoning, as well as the incredibly stressful and high-stakes presidential election. Obama shared a clip of a CNN interview with activist Patrick Hutchinson (who recently sat down for a chat with the Duke of Sussex) alongside her emotional message.
“Black Lives Matter. For me, the holidays have always been a chance to slow down and reflect. We’ve endured so much this past year, from the devastation of the pandemic to the ups and downs of a hard-won election. But what has perhaps stayed with me most is the passionate message of justice and empathy that has defined the Black Lives Matter protests around the world,” began Obama.
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Explaining why she chose to share a clip of Hutchinson to accompany her message, she shared, “I want to highlight this story because it’s hard to see so many people distort the unity and righteousness of these protests. They’ve been sowing seeds of division, misrepresenting those crying out for justice as troublemakers or criminals. The truth is the millions around the world who showed up with their homemade signs were marching with the same kind of compassion that Mr. Hutchinson shows here. They’re folks who face discrimination on a daily basis because of the color of their skin. And they’re just asking to be shown the same level of humanity that our consciences demand we show anyone else in need.”
Obama reiterated the need for protesting in order for the voices of America’s marginalized communities to be heard and expressed that she hopes 2021 brings a better understanding of the equality the Black community has been calling for not just in 2020, but for decades.
“I hope more people can find it in their hearts to meet these cries for decency not with mistrust, but with love and a willingness to listen. Because as the COVID-19 crisis has made clear, our fates are inextricably bound. If the least of us struggles, we all in some way feel that pain. And, unless we keep speaking out and marching for equality, none of us will ever truly be free,” wrote Obama.
“I pray that in 2021, more of us will reach out to understand the experiences of those who don’t look, or vote, or think like we do. I pray that we learn to pause when we’re tempted to react in anger or suspicion. And I pray that we choose generosity and kindness over our worst impulses. That isn’t always easy. But it’s a place to start. And we have so many terrific examples in all of the folks who marched for what’s right this year. Thanks to you all. I’m so proud of you,” she concluded.
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