Michelle Obama to tech giants: ‘Ban Trump for good’
The former first lady says its time for social media platforms to ban the outgoing president permanently
Outgoing President Donald Trump may have been “indefinitely” banned by Facebook and Instagram, as reported by theGrio but former first lady Michelle Obama doesn’t think that’s enough.
After a mob of pro-Trump supporters stormed and breached the U.S. Capitol Wednesday after a rally he attended telling his supporters “You will never take back this country with weakness,” Obama says she believes it’s time to mute him for good.
On her social media platforms, Obama shared a hearfelt post that expressed her disgust with Wednesday’s insurrection – and its response.
“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.”
As the nation’s first lady, Obama received her fair share of criticism and judgment on everything from her bare arms to her platforms on healthy eating and girl’s education to her facial expressions. She said in her best-selling 2018 memoir Becoming that she couldn’t forgive Trump for endangering her family by claiming that former President Barack Obama was not a native-born citizen.
But as she told the nation when rallying for Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention in 2016, “When they go low, we go high.” Recent events have apparently convinced Mrs. Obama that taking the high road is no longer enough.
“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. And yet, in city after city, day after day, we saw peaceful protestors met with brute force,” she writes in an Instagram post.
“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. What do all those folks have to say now?”
She called on the tech giants to remove Trump from all social media platforms as his incendiary speech appeared to give license to his supporters to storm the Capitol in support of his presidency, which ends on Jan. 20 when President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated. Multiple legal efforts to challenge the election results in several states have been denied, sometimes even met with scorn and censure.
Yet as of yesterday before his Instagram and Facebook accounts were blocked, Trump continued to tweet that the election had been “stolen,” stoking his supporters. Though he retains both the POTUS and his personal Twitter account, Trump hasn’t posted since yesterday, likely because Twitter removed several tweets from both accounts, citing its user policies.
Obama believes that Trump should no longer be able to incite treasonous, illegal behavior using social media, given that his words from the office of the president carry weight.
“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,” she writes. “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.”
You can read the full text of the former first lady’s comments below.
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