“Going high does not mean putting on a smile and saying nice things when confronted by viciousness and cruelty … Going high means standing fierce against hatred while remembering that we are one nation under God, and if we want to survive, we’ve got to find a way to live together and work together across our differences”, Michelle Obama said during her incredible speech at the Democratic National Convention, firing up the party for November’s presidential election.
She made reference to a Donald Trump and his present administration saying:
Let me be as honest and clear as I possibly can. Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is.
She went on to say:
We live in a nation that is deeply divided, and I am a Black woman speaking at the Democratic Convention. But enough of you know me by now. You know that I tell you exactly what I’m feeling. You know I hate politics. But you also know that I care about this nation.
If you take one thing from my words tonight, it is this: if you think things cannot possibly get worse, trust me, they can, and they will if we don’t make a change in this election.
Talking about the presumptive presidential nominee for the 2020 convention, she said that Biden “is not perfect,” but also said, “This is not the time to withhold our votes in protest or play games with candidates who have no chance of winning.”
Speaking on the various injustices since Barack Obama left office, the former first lady said:
When my husband left office with Joe Biden at his side, we had a record-breaking stretch of job creation. We’d secured the right to healthcare for 20,000,000 people. We were respected around the world, rallying our allies to confront climate change. And our leaders had worked hand in hand with scientists to help prevent an Ebola outbreak from becoming a global pandemic.
Four years later, the state of this nation is very different. More than 150,000 people have died and our economy is in shambles because of a virus that this president downplayed for too long. It has left millions of people jobless. Too many have lost their healthcare; too many are struggling to take care of basic necessities like food and rent; too many communities have been left in the lurch to grapple with whether and how to open our schools safely. Internationally, we’ve turned our back, not just on agreements forged by my husband, but on alliances championed by presidents like Reagan and Eisenhower.
And here at home, as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and a neverending list of innocent people of color continue to be murdered, stating the simple fact that a black life matters is still met with derision from the nation’s highest office.
Giving a wake-up charge, she goes on to say:
And when the horrors of systemic racism shook our country and our consciences, millions of Americans of every age, every background rose up to march for each other, crying out for justice and progress.
This is who we still are: compassionate, resilient, decent people whose fortunes are bound up with one another. And it is well past time for our leaders to once again reflect our truth.
So, it is up to us to add our voices and our votes to the course of history, echoing heroes like John Lewis who said: “When you see something that is not right, you must say something. You must do something.” That is the truest form of empathy: not just feeling, but doing; not just for ourselves or our kids, but for everyone, for all our kids.
Watch the moving speech here:
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You all know me by now. You know that I tell you exactly what I’m feeling, and that I’m no fan of politics. But you also know how much I love this country and how much I care about all our children. And right now, I’m deeply troubled by what our kids are witnessing—a nation that’s underperforming not just on matters of policy, but on matters of character. In our hearts, we know that so much of what’s happening is just not right. It’s not who we want to be. And if we want any chance to end the chaos, the division, and the nastiness; if we want to keep alive the possibility of progress on the issues we hold dear, we’ve got to elect @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris like our lives depend on it. Joe Biden is a profoundly decent man, guided by his faith. He knows what it takes to rescue an economy, beat back a pandemic, and lead a country. Kamala Harris is a dedicated public servant who has committed her life to fighting for those who can use a hand up. Together, they will listen. They will tell the truth and trust science. And they will make smart plans and manage a good team. Because Joe Biden has served this nation without ever losing sight of who he is, but even more than that, he’s never lost sight of who we are—all of us. And he will channel that same grit and compassion to pick us up, help us heal, and guide us forward. To everyone who has given so much this summer to awaken our consciences and shout out for justice—I could not be more proud of you. Keep it up. Because progress isn’t an either/or proposition. If we want to move forward, we’ve got to march. We’ve got to kneel. We’ve got to protest. And we’ve got to vote—and make sure everyone we know does, too. So vote early, in-person if you can. Request your mail-in ballots right now—tonight—and send them back immediately, and follow up to make sure they were received. And when Election Day comes, get prepared to wait in line overnight if you have to. Because if we want to be able to look our children in the eye after this election, if we want to realize the progress that we seek, we’ve got to do everything we can to elect Joe Biden as the next President of the United States.