Today makes one week since millions of people witnessed the murder of an unarmed black man, George Floyd. Floyd died while in the hands of Minneapolis police, four of the officers involved were fired while the ex-cop seen pinning his knee on unarmed Floyd, was charged with third-degree murder.
Former beloved president Barack Obama is speaking out in light of the nationwide anger black communities are feeling. Protestors and activists are demanding justice. In a lengthy powerful post, Obama wrote a heartfelt message to people hurting right now.
His main focus in the letter was that protestors should do so peacefully.
“I saw an elderly black woman being interviewed today in tears because the only grocery store in her neighborhood had been trashed. If history is any guide, that store may take years to come back. So let’s not excuse violence, or rationalize it, or participate in it. If we want our criminal justice system, and American society at large, to operate on a higher ethical code, then we have to model that code ourselves.”
Obama’s next major point is that promo protesting is just one step. If people want to see real change they have to get involved with politics at the local and higher levels.
“It’s mayors and county executives that appoint most police chiefs and negotiate collective bargaining agreements with police unions. It’s district attorneys and state attorneys that decide whether or not to investigate and ultimately charge those involved in police misconduct. Those are all elected positions. In some places, police review boards with the power to monitor police conduct are elected as well. Unfortunately, voter turnout in these local races is usually pitifully low, especially among young people — which makes no sense given the direct impact these offices have on social justice issues, not to mention the fact that who wins and who loses those seats is often determined by just a few thousand, or even a few hundred, votes.”
Obama ended by noting that we have to get more specific when creating reforms. Reforms may vary from different cities so every agency should have a clear policy. He added two good reform links, you can check it out here.
“We have to mobilize to raise awareness, and we have to organize and cast our ballots to make sure that we elect candidates who will act on reform.