Sasha and Malia Obama joined the thousands of Americans who took to the streets in 2020 to protest against police brutality following the police killing of George Floyd.
Now the former President is opening up about how proud he is of his daughters for joining the masses and peacefully making their voices heard. Barack Obama told People Magazine how Sasha and Malia felt “the need to participate” in the nationwide protests following the unjust killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and many others.
After spending eight years in the White House, the sisters have maintained low-profile lives after their father left office in 2017. It took an interview Obama did last November for him to reveal his daughter’s participation in the Black Lives Matter protests, People reports.
Now the 44th president shared how the two college students take his advice while making their own decisions on advocating for social justice.
“I didn’t have to give them a lot of advice because they had a very clear sense of what was right and what was wrong and [of] their own agency and the power of their voice and the need to participate,” Obama said. “Malia and Sasha found their own ways to get involved with the demonstrations and activism that you saw with young people this summer, without any prompting from Michelle and myself, on their own initiative.”
He went on to applaud his girls for joining the protests in a genuine effort and not “looking for limelight,” he said. “They were very much in organizer mode. I could not have been prouder of them.”
While many would assume the two sisters took after their politician father in being a beacon for change, Obama would rather give his daughters credit for taking the initiative all on their own.
“I think a couple of times they asked for sort of very specific suggestions about what would be the best way to communicate X or what would be the most useful thing that, if we were mobilizing a whole bunch of friends, to have an impact, what should we be doing?” he said. “But they didn’t need to be encouraged. Their attitude was — we’ve seen something wrong and we want to fix it, and we think we can fix it. And we understand that it’s not gonna take just a day or a week or one march to fix it. But we’re in it for the long haul.”
He isn’t sure if either of his daughters will pursue a career in politics in the future. But he’s certain his daughters will be “active citizens” and continue advocating for positive change the masses can benefit from.
“They’re reflective of their generation in the sense they want to make a difference, and they think about their careers in terms of– How do I have a positive impact? How do I make the world better?” he said. “I think they’re going to want to have an impact, and their friends feel the same way.”