“Black Lives Matter” is not just another meaningless slogan that caught the attention of mainstream media across the nation. President Barack Obama recently had to defend it against critics who claim it’s divisive, according to the New York Magazine.
“African-Americans are stopped, frisked, harassed, brutalized and killed by police at rates far higher than other racial groups,” which is systemic racism that can’t be adequately explained, the magazine said.
“I think everybody understands all lives matter” but “there is a specific problem that is happening in the African-American community that’s not happening in other communities. And that is a legitimate issue that we’ve got to address,” the president said. Those who retort “all lives matter” to the movement’s slogan are missing the point, Obama stated.
The president felt the need to point out that the Black community “isn’t making this up” is in itself a sad comment on how unwilling America is to cope with the problems of racism and police violence, the article said. It’s real and there’s a history behind it, Obama said, and it needs to be taken seriously.
The president offered advice and criticism for activists organizing around this issue: Back up your arguments with statistics rather than anecdotes. The
overwhelming majority of law enforcement is doing the right things and wants to do the right thing,” he said.
Those attacking the president for supporting this movement contend that it sets an ugly unsympathetic attitude toward local law enforcement and could potentially set up racial tensions with White groups, the magazine reported.
Republican presidential candidates Ben Carson, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump have seized the opportunity to express their feelings about the “Black Lives Matter” movement. Carson thinks the movement is “sickening.” Cruz said activists are embracing and celebrating the murder of police officers. Donald Trump said they are “looking for trouble.”
There are critics who took the president’s comments to serve as further evidence he’s a dangerous racist who hates White people and especially cops. The magazine concludes that Obama doesn’t have to soft-shoe around anymore; he can speak more frankly now because he has essentially nothing to lose. There are no more elections to win, the magazine points out.