Subtly deflecting from the racial tension that has polarized the nation, Mrs. Obama shifts the case back to its heart: Two people lost their son in a tragic act of violence.
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My heart goes out to the parents, because we all as parents understand the tragedy of that kind of loss, and I think that’s really the thing that most people connect to,” Obama said. “And it’s important for us not to lose sight of the fact that this is a family that’s grieving and there’s been a tremendous loss. And we all have to rally around that piece of it.”
The First Lady also made it clear that the “race” conversation can not end with Trayvon Martin:
Talking is good. Conversations have to be forever. You know, they can’t come in spits and starts when there’s an incident. I think we all need, as a country, to continue to talk about these issues, to understand our communities and the challenges that we face, which are different and unique depending upon where you live,” Obama said.
It’s all about, you know, continuing to get to know ourselves in a very diverse and complicated country that is America. It is a wonderful place to live. But because it is so diverse, our challenges are complex. So there isn’t, you know, a one-shot solution to this. It is complicated. It takes time. It takes openness. It takes compassion. It takes patience. And it takes a lot of work. So we should all be ready to roll up our sleeves and keep doing that work.”
President Barack Obama weighed in on the case last month — after weeks of his loud silence was felt in the Black community — and he voiced similar sentiments:
If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” Obama said.”I think [Trayvon’s parents] are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves, and we are going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.
Obviously, this is a tragedy,” he continued. “I can only imagine what these parents are going through, and when I think about this boy, I think about my own kids, and I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this, and that everybody pulls together — federal, state and local — to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened.”
Click here for the full transcript of First Lady Michelle Obama’s interview on NPR.