On Thursday, Former first lady Michelle Obama said, “I hurt for our country” in a statement reflecting on Wednesday’s US Capitol breach that left the nation’s capital in chaos.
“All I know is that now is a time for true patriotism. Now is the time for those who voted for this president to see the reality of what they’ve supported—and publicly and forcefully rebuke him and the actions of that mob,” Obama said.
In a statement, she said that the incident “left me with so many questions — questions about the future, questions about security, extremism, propaganda, and more.
But there’s one question I just can’t shake: What if these rioters had looked like the folks who go to Ebenezer Baptist Church every Sunday? What would have been different?”
“I think we all know the answer,” the former first lady wrote.
Hundreds of pro-Trump rioters pushed through barriers set up along the perimeter of the Capitol on Wednesday, where they ceased with officers in full riot gear, with some calling the officers “traitors” for doing their jobs.
According to the police, about an hour and 30 minutes later, rioters got into the building and the entrances to the House and Senate were being locked. The House floor was evacuated by police.
After pleading from aides and congressional allies inside the besieged US Capitol, President Donald Trump released a video telling the demonstrators to “go home,” while still fanning their baseless grievances about a stolen election.
In that video, Trump also the crowd who had broken into the Capitol using force, stolen items from its rooms, and posed for photographs in the legislative chambers. “We love you,” he said. “You’re very special.”
Because of this, Facebook and Twitter took the extraordinary step of locking Trump’s accounts indefinitely on their platforms — something Obama said should be permanent.
“Now is the time for Silicon Valley companies to stop enabling this monstrous behavior—and go even further than they have already by permanently banning this man from their platforms and putting in place policies to prevent their technology from being used by the nation’s leaders to fuel insurrection,” Obama said.
“And if we have any hope of improving this nation, now is the time for swift and serious consequences for the failure of leadership that led to yesterday’s shame.”
Obama ended her statement by saying that “the work of putting America back together” will be “an uncomfortable, sometimes painful process.”
“But if we enter into it with an honest and unwavering love of our country, then maybe we can finally start to heal.”