Former First Lady Michelle Obama has slammed those who voted for President Donald Trump and called on them "to see the reality of what they've supported." The comments come after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in a siege that left five people dead.
"I woke up yesterday elated by the news of Reverend Raphael Warnock's election victory," the former First Lady began. "He'll be Georgia's first Black senator, and I was heartened by the idea that the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church—the home parish of Dr. King and a spiritual and organizational hub during the Civil Rights Movement—would be representing his state in the United States Senate."
Michelle Obama then went on to address Trump supporters storming the Capitol.
"In just a few hours, though, my heart had fallen harder and faster than I can remember. Like all of you, I watched as a gang - organized, violent, and mad they'd lost an election - laid siege to the United States Capitol. They set up gallows. They proudly waved the traitorous flag of the Confederacy through the halls. They desecrated the center of American government."
"And once authorities finally gained control of the situation, these rioters and gang members were led out of the building not in handcuffs, but free to carry on with their days. The day was a fulfillment of the wishes of an infantile and unpatriotic president who can't handle the truth of his own failures."
Obama went on to compare the storming of the Capitol to the Black Lives Matter protests seen last year.
"This summer's Black Lives Matter protests were an overwhelmingly peaceful movement—our nation's largest demonstrations ever, bringing together people of every race and class and encouraging millions to re-examine their own assumptions and behavior."
"Yet in city after city, day after day, we saw peaceful protestors met with brute force,' her statement said, referencing the Black Lives Matter demonstrations that erupted in the wake of the May 25 police-involved death of George Floyd."
She went to add: "We saw cracked skulls and mass arrests, law enforcement pepper spraying its way through a peaceful demonstration for a presidential photo op."
"And for those who call others unpatriotic for simply taking a knee in silent protest, for those who wonder why we need to be reminded that Black Lives Matter at all, yesterday made it painfully clear that certain Americans are, in fact, allowed to denigrate the flag and symbols of our nation. They've just got to look the right way."
"Seeing the gulf between the responses to yesterday's riot and this summer's peaceful protests and the larger movement for racial justice is so painful. It hurts. And I cannot think about moving on or turning the page until we reckon with the reality of what we saw yesterday. True progress will be possible only once we acknowledge that this disconnect exists and take steps to repair it."
Obama went on to slam the Republican party, and called out social media platforms that have enabled the president.
"The day was a fulfillment of the wishes of an infantile and unpatriotic president who can't handle the truth of his own failures. And the wreckage lays at the feet of a party and media apparatus that gleefully cheered him on, knowing full well the possibility of consequences like these."
"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."
The former first lady called on Americans to unify after the attack.
"The work of putting America back together, of truly repairing what is broken, isn’t the work of any individual politician or political party. It’s up to each of us to do our part. To reach out. To listen."
"And to hold tight to the truth and values that have always led this country forward. It 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."