Racial unrest is a harsh reality in the US and "we are not proud of parts of our history," US First Lady Melania Trump has acknowledged, as she recalled her own immigrant story in an appeal for social harmony in the country.
The First Lady, in her address to the Republican National Convention on Tuesday from the Rose Garden of the White House, made a passionate plea to Americans to re-elect her husband, President Donald Trump.
"Like all of you, I have reflected on the racial unrest in our country. It is a harsh reality that we are not proud of parts of our history. I encourage people to focus on our future while still learning from our past," Melania, 50, said.
This was her first major reference to the socio-political unrest in the country following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May.
Floyd, 46, died after being arrested by police outside a shop in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Footage of the arrest shows a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeling on Floyd's neck while he was pinned to the floor.
Chauvin, 44, has since been charged with murder. Floyd's death had sparked protests around the world against racial injustice and police brutality.
Recalling her immigrant story, Slovenia-born Melania said that becoming an American citizen in 2006 was one of the proudest moments of her life.
"I arrived in the United States when I was 26 years old. Living and working in the land of opportunity was a dream come true, but I wanted more. I wanted to be a citizen. After ten years of paperwork and patience I studied for the test in 2006 and became an American citizen," Melania said.
"It is still one of the proudest moments in my life because, with hard work and determination, I was able to achieve my own American dream. As an immigrant and a very independent woman, I understand what a privilege it is to live here and to enjoy the freedoms and opportunities that we have," she said.
Melania said, "I am here because we need my husband to be our President and Commander-in-Chief for four more years. He is what is best for our country."
Calling her husband an "authentic person" in reference to Trump's directness and unfiltered commentary, the First Lady concluded her keynote address by saying: "I believe that we need my husband's leadership now more than ever." "As you have learned over the past five years, he is not a traditional politician. ..He doesn't just speak words. He demands action and he gets results. The future of our country has always been very important to him, and it is something that I have always admired," the First Lady said.