From Shameik Moore to John Boyega: The Root Grades 2 Presidents and a VP’s Words on George Floyd’s Death

Illustration for article titled From Shameik Moore to John Boyega: The Root Grades 2 Presidents and a VP’s Words on George Floyd’s Death
Photo: PAUL J. RICHARDS (Getty Images)

On Friday, as America was still reeling from the death of George Floyd, 49, at the hands Minneapolis police officers and the subsequent protests that have once again called for America to deal with its original sin, former President Barack Obama and his then-second-in-command former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump issued statements and/or made speeches, and The Root is here to evaluate those statements made on a scale of Trump to Obama, or Taylor Swift to Tay Tay, or Kanye is fucking childish to Childish Gambino.


President Obama (A+++++++)

Goddamn, I love this man. Seriously, watching Obama live his best life is like breaking up with the love of your life and learning that she’s dating a professional basketball player while you’re dating a woman who might have a slight and extremely unhealthy addiction to anime. Black America is having serious breakup regret and are now totally ready to start sending late-night Future texts.

Not only did Obama reference the viral video of a song by Keedron Bryant, who sings, “I just want to live, God protect me,” but this is what he said:

“It’s natural to wish for life ‘to just get back to normal’ as a pandemic and economic crisis upend everything around us. But we have to remember that for millions of Americans, being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly ‘normal’—whether it’s while dealing with the health care system, or interacting with the criminal justice system, or jogging down the street, or just watching birds in a park.”

This president is spittin’.

I think we already know that our love for Obama has jaded our outlook on what he says. Obama could’ve literally sent in a note that said, “I just bought a crib, three stories, that bitch a trilogy” and then exclaimed “I don’t fuck with you!” And we would’ve all been like “That’s my president” with full Terrell Owen shaky chin face.


All jokes aside, the degree of compassion and sincerity is what’s missing in 2020 and what America is longing for and it’s what makes Obama an exceptional person/president. He really doesn’t have to do this; he doesn’t owe America anything; he served his time as president and yet, here he is still rooting for us; still hoping that we get our shit together and get back to dating normally.

Joe Biden (B-)

Damn, Joe. This was your shot and you didn’t blow it but you didn’t bring it home either. Like you came out and said all of the right things but something about you just didn’t hit right like when Drake rap-sings “If anything happen to Papi, might pop a nigga for real,” it just doesn’t hit and I don’t know why. I don’t know if it’s Biden’s whisper voice thing that he does or if it just feels like he’s trying too hard, but I swear when I listened to Biden’s sincere concern for blacks uprising in Minneapolis, I was just “meh.”


It’s like the other day; it was sunny but windy and I decided on shorts and a sweatshirt, and when I walked outside, everyone had on some variation of the same; there were people wearing jeans and jackets and others in tank tops and shorts and somehow all of us were wrong and all of us were right. That was Joe Biden’s speech. But he did call for justice for Floyd and that’s important.

“Weeks like this we see it plainly that we’re a country with an open wound. And none of us can turn away. None of us can be silent. None of us can any longer, can we hear the words ‘I can’t breathe’ and do nothing,” Biden said.


“We need justice for George Floyd,” Biden continued. “We need real police reform, to hold cops to a higher standard that so many of them actually meet, that holds bad cops accountable and repairs relationships between law enforcement and the community they’re sworn to protect.”

It wasn’t Biden’s words, as they hit home, it was everything else. Watch it below and fight me in the comments.


President Trump (F——-)

“Fuck China, and I’m cutting ties with the World Health Organization while America is facing the COVID-19 pandemic.” OK, fine I’m paraphrasing Trump’s Rose Garden rant speech a bit.


Seriously, that was the president was offering Friday afternoon when he held a press conference to talk about…China.

“China has total control over the World Health Organization despite only paying $40 million per year compared to what the United States has been paying, which is approximately $450 million a year,” Trump said during a press conference from the White House Rose Garden.


“The world needs answers from China on the virus. We must have transparency. Why is it that China shut off infected people from Wuhan to all other parts of China?” he added. “It didn’t go to Beijing, it went nowhere else, but they allowed them to freely travel throughout the world, including Europe and the United States.”

Everyone, including China, assumed the president was going to explain–because of course he wasn’t going to apologize—his grossly timed, racist dog whistle tweet that said “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”; side note: Whenever the president starts rhyming, it’s usually racist, but that didn’t happen. Instead the president shocked everyone by tearing into China’s response to COVID-19, announcing that he was no longer on speaking terms with WHO and then he walking off without taking questions because the president doesn’t give a fuck about black people, the problems we go through or really anything happening in Minneapolis.


The president has tweeted about George Floyd’s legacy and called protesters “thugs” so there is that. Do with it what you will.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.



I was just talking to my wife tonight how it feels like we don’t have a President right now. I miss Obama so much. He actually had compassion for people. You could tell he wanted to help people, to make people feel like things are going to be ok. just....