After former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd, former first lady Michelle Obama and former President Barack Obama issued a rare statement on the verdict. Mrs. Obama told “CBS This Morning” that she and her husband felt compelled to speak out.
“The goal is to let leaders lead. But in certain times, people, you know, look to us often. ‘Well, what do you think? How do you feel?'” Mrs. Obama told “CBS This Morning” anchor Gayle King when asked about the verdict.
The Obamas released a statement after the verdict saying the Minnesota jury “did the right thing” in convicting Chauvin, but noting that “true justice is about much more than a single verdict in a single trial.”
“We know that while we’re all breathing a sigh of relief over the verdict, there’s still work to be done. And so we, we can’t sort of say, ‘Great. That happened. Let’s move on,'” Mrs. Obama told King. “I know that people in the Black community don’t feel that way because many of us still live in fear.”
Mrs. Obama said many Black Americans experience fear as they grocery shop, walk their dogs and drive. She expressed worry about her own daughters, Sasha and Malia.
“Every time they get in a car by themselves, I worry about what assumption is being made by somebody who doesn’t know everything about them. The fact that they are good students and polite girls. But maybe they’re playin’ their music a little loud. Maybe somebody sees the back of their head and makes an assumption,” she said. “The innocent act of getting a license puts fear in our hearts.”
“I think we have to talk about it more. And we have to ask our fellow citizens to listen a bit more, and to believe us, and to know we don’t wanna be out there marchin’. I mean, all those Black Lives Matters kids, they’d rather not have to worry about this. They’re takin’ to the streets because they have to. They’re tryin’ to have people understand that that we’re real folks, and the fear that many have of so many of us is irrational. And it’s based on a history that is just, it’s sad and it’s dark. And it’s time for us to move beyond that.”
Mrs. Obama also discussed her continuing advocacy for the issues she championed while in the White House.
She is now the executive producer of thea children’s program that focuses on teaching kids the value of healthy eating by sharing stories and traditions from around the world.
On “CBS This Morning” on Monday, Mrs. Obama will reveal Waffles and Mochi’s next adventure. King sat down with her in Washington, where she explained why she is so excited about her upcoming initiative with the Partnership for a Healthier America and her ongoing mission to ensure all families have access to healthy foods.
Caitlin Yilek contributed to this report.