President Barack Obama isn’t often accused of striking the wrong political chord, but it happened Wednesday when he linked George Floyd’s murder to the Texas school massacre.
The 46-year-old Floyd died two years ago Wednesday at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, an anniversary that was largely overshadowed by the horrific slaughter Tuesday of 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
“As we grieve the children of Uvalde today, we should take time to recognize that two years have passed since the murder of George Floyd under the knee of a police officer,” Mr. Obama tweeted. “His killing stays with us all to this day, especially those who loved him.”
Among those blasting the effort to connect memorializing Floyd‘s death to the Texas schoolchildren was conservative commentator Jason Whitlock, host of the Blaze Media “Fearless” podcast.
“Let’s stand George Floyd on the dead bodies of slaughtered children. This is one of the worst tweets in history,” Mr. Whitlock tweeted.
He went on to say: “Brah, this ain’t it. Little kids slaughtered at school is not the equivalent of Floyd dying after resisting arrest while high.”
Christine Pushaw, press secretary for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, called the tweet “truly sick.”
“19 innocent children and 2 hero teachers were killed … and to the Divider-in-Chief, the real victim of Uvalde is George Floyd?” she tweeted.
Mike Davis, founder and president of the Article III Project, pointed out that Floyd was a career criminal who had been detained by police on suspicion of using a counterfeit $20 bill to buy cigarettes at a Cup Foods in Minneapolis.
“George Floyd didn’t deserve to die. And the justice system worked,” tweeted Mr. Davis. “But he was a criminal scumbag. Disgusting Obama thinks the murder of 19 kids and 2 teachers is a good time to ‘recognize’ George Floyd.”
Former Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted last year of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter for kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes during the arrest.
He filed an appeal last month.
Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon posted a parody tweet saying: “’It sucks those kids died, but remember George Floyd? He‘s who I’m still thinking about.’— Barack Obama.”
The students and teachers were shot and killed by a gunman who was himself killed by police who stormed the barricaded fourth-grade classroom. Seventeen people were injured in the attack but were reported in good condition.
On Tuesday, Mr. Obama offered his condolences to the Uvalde parents, saying “Michelle and I grieve with the families in Uvalde, who are experiencing pain no one should have to bear” while blasting the “ gun lobby.”
President Biden memorialized Floyd’s death by signing an executive order creating a national database for police misconduct; restricting the transfer of military equipment to police departments, and requiring federal officers to wear body cameras.
Mr. Obama praised the activists who protested Floyd’s 2020 death, fueling mass demonstrations as well as rioting in major U.S. cities in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In the aftermath of his murder, a new generation of activists rose up to channel their anguish into organized action, launching a movement to raise awareness of systemic racism and the need for criminal justice and police reform,” Mr. Obama tweeted.
Unlike the Washington Post, however, Mr. Obama did not say that Floyd was shot.
The newspaper deleted a Monday tweet that said he was “shot and killed in police custody,” as shown in a screenshot by Media Research Center managing editor Curtis Houck.