As the 44th U.S. President and first African-American President, Barack Obama will forever be engrained in the political history books. Serving eight years to his country, the politician and attorney has never failed to assist his people in other ways even after departing the White House in 2017. Following a self-written article titled How To Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change this week, where he addressed American protestors, overnight the 58-year-old has also held a virtual town hall.
Appearing on Zoom, this is the first time that Obama has made on-camera comments on the killing of George Floyd and police brutality in America, reiterating his comments made in the Medium article. Despite the civil unrest, Obama is remaining optimistic on the future of the country.
“Sometimes when I feel despair, I just see what’s happening with young people all across the country,” he said. “It makes me feel optimistic. It makes me feel as if … this country’s gonna get better.”
Speaking to the younger generation, he continued, “I want you to know that you matter. I want you to know that your lives matter, that your dreams matter,” he said. “And when I go home and look at my daughters, Sasha and Malia, and look at my nephews and nieces, I see the limitless potential that continues to thrive. You should be able to learn and make mistakes and live a life of joy without worrying about what’s going to happen if you go to the store or go for a jog or are driving down the street or looking at some birds in a park.”
The former President was also joined by Michael Smith of Obama’s nonprofit organisation My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, activist Brittany Packnett, former attorney general, Eric H. Holder Jr., Minneapolis City Council Representative Phillipe Cunningham, President of Color of Change Rashad Robinson and Nicole Fields.
His hour-long address was a stark difference to that of President Donald Trump’s press conference on Monday where he threatened military force to end the riots.
President Trump says he wants mayors and governors to establish "an overwhelming law enforcement presence until the violence has been quelled," and if they don't, "I will deploy the United States military, and quickly solve the problem for them" https://t.co/0LMqrK7lfM pic.twitter.com/TpXLeNf5ki
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 1, 2020
On June 4, Derek Chauvin, the police officer who killed George Floyd had his charges increased to second-degree murder while the other three officers involved were also arrested. It comes after an independent autopsy ordered by Floyd’s family revealed he died from ‘mechanical asphyxia’.
Stay tuned for further developments.