President Obama might maintain a "deafening silence" after the deaths of law enforcement personnel, but he never misses an opportunity to weigh in after deaths of popular figures or those that might be used to promote his social justice agenda. Thursday, President Obama publicly mourned the passing of "creative icon" Prince, saying he taught us that "a strong spirit transcends rules."
"Few artists have influenced the sound and trajectory of popular music more distinctly, or touched quite so many people with their talent,” Obama said in a statement. "'A strong spirit transcends rules,' Prince once said — and nobody's spirit was stronger, bolder, or more creative."
The Hill notes that the Obamas are big fans of Prince and even invited him, along with Stevie Wonder, to perform at a VIP event at the White House last June.
Obama's fellow activist Al Sharpton also chimed in on Prince's death, overtly using it as a chance to push his racial justice message.
"What many people didn’t know is that he would support many of our civil rights causes."
"What many people didn’t know is that [Prince] would support many of our civil rights causes," said Sharpton on MSNBC Live Thursday. "He was not one to make a lot about his humanitarian and activist involvement, but he was very much involved in what was going on in the country. He was very much involved in human rights."
Sharpton said that the popstar had quietly donated money to Trayvon Martin's family and held a concert in Baltimore to support the relatives of Freddie Gray.
"I remember when we were raising the issue of justice around the Trayvon Martin killing, Prince called me and sent some funds that I gave to the family for him, and [he] never wanted recognition for it,” he said, adding that following Gray's death he "went into Baltimore around the policing issue and did a concert to help the family."