Obama Sends Message of Hope Amid George Floyd Protests

Obama Sends Message of Hope Amid George Floyd Protests

Obama Sends Message of Hope Amid George Floyd Protests

In his video message Obama sent a message of gratitude to young people of colour, who have "witnessed too much violence and too much death", and said their activism has been a source of hope for him.

At one point the former president spoke directly to young men and women of color to say, "I want you to know that your lives matter, that your dreams matter, and that when I go home and I look at the faces of my daughters Sasha and Malia and I look at my nephews and nieces, I seek limitless potential that deserves to flourish and thrive. To bring about real change, we both have to highlight a problem and make people in power uncomfortable, but we also have to translate that into practical solutions and laws that can be implemented", Obama noted.

"I know enough about that history to say: There is something different here", Obama said, referring to the protests of the 1960s. "They offer an opportunity for all of us to tackle them".

Aides said Obama will call for turning the protests over Floyd's death into policy change and will urge specific reforms to ensure safer policing and increased trust between communities and law enforcement.

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Obama compared the events and protests of the past few weeks to the chaos of the 1960s, during the height of the civil rights movement.

"You've communicated a sense of urgency that is as powerful and as transformative as anything that I've seen in recent years."

"And part of what's made me so hopeful is the fact that so many young people have been galvanised and activated and motivated and mobilised".

Obama then argued that most of the reforms need to take place at the local level. "And the talent and the voice and sophistication they're displaying and it makes me feel optimistic".

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Mr Obama was in office in 2014 and 2015 when USA cities experienced riots and protests due to black deaths in custody.

Obama also urged "every mayor in the country to review your use of force policies" with their communities and "commit to report on planned reforms" before prioritizing their implementation.

The current protests show a "far more representative cross-section of America out on the streets peacefully protesting and who felt moved to do something", he said.

His comments came in a virtual roundtable meeting with a program called My Brother's Keeper, which he founded in response to the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson in 2014, to reduce racial inequalities.

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