In this screengrab, Michelle Obama is seen during the 2020 BET Awards, which aired June 28, 2020, (Photo by BET Awards 2020/Getty Images via Getty Images)
(CNSNews.com) – In a videotaped message to voters, former first lady Michelle Obama urged empathy for African Americans: “Imagine how it feels to have suspicion cast on you from the day you were born, simply because of the hue of your skin.”
Mrs. Obama made racial strike a centerpiece of her argument that Americans must “vote for Joe Biden like your lives depend on it.”
Here is that portion of her remarks:
I want to appeal for some empathy here, too.
I want everyone who is still undecided to think about all those folks like me and my ancestors, the moms and dads who worked their fingers to the bone to raise their kids right, the teenagers who wear hoodies while working hard to get their diplomas, the millions of folks who look like me and fought and died and toiled as slaves and soldiers and laborers to help build this country.
Put yourselves in our shoes for just a moment. Imagine how it feels to wake up every day and do your very best to uphold the values that this country claims to hold dear, truth, honor, decency, only to have those efforts met by scorn, not just by your fellow citizens, but by a sitting president.
Imagine how it feels to have suspicion cast on you from the day you were born, simply because of the hue of your skin. To walk around your own country, scared that someone’s unjustified fear of you could put you in harm’s way. Terrified of what four more years of this kind of division might mean for the safety of you and those you love.
Living with the knowledge that no matter how hard we try, how much good we do in the world, there will be far too many who will never see our humanity, who will project on us their own fears of retribution for centuries of injustice and thus only see us as a threat to be restrained. And we know what happens next. A racial slur from a passing car, a job promotion that never comes, a routine traffic stop gone wrong, maybe a knee to the neck.
Racism, fear, division — these are powerful weapons and they can destroy this nation if we don’t deal with them head-on. So I want to ask every single American, no matter what party you normally vote for, to please take a moment to pause, click off the news, think about how you felt over these last four years, how quickly things have turned, and then think about what the next four years could mean for our country’s future.
The message we will send to our children about who we are and what we truly value. Think about what would possibly compel you to accept this level of chaos, violence and confusion under this president and be willing to watch our country continue to spiral out of control. Because we can no longer pretend that we don’t know exactly who and what this president stands for. Search your hearts and your conscience and then vote for Joe Biden like your lives depend on it.