President Barack Obama on Thursday made passionate statements in defense of the Black Lives Matter movement, a group criticized for disruptive protests and an ideology which creates divide than unity.
In a remark made at an event organized by The Marshall Project, the president said “the African-American community is not just making this up,” pertaining to claims of racial discrimination and violence against them.
“I think the reason that the organizers use the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter’ was not because they were suggesting nobody else’s lives matter. Rather, they were suggesting that there is a specific problem that is happening in the African-American community that is not happening in other communities,” Mr. Obama said.
The president draws from his own experience as a then young black man in the streets of America. “As a young man, there have been times where I was driving and I got stopped and I didn’t know why,” the president said.
Black Lives Matter is being criticized for their disruptive street protests. The group had also been notorious in catching political officials in surprise to have them listen to what they want to say. Such case was displayed at a clash that happened on Monday between the group and the mayor of South Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti.
According to a report from The Los Angeles Times, 50 members of the Black Lives Matters cut off a meeting at town hall being held by Garcetti. The mayor was compelled to retreat to his car as the members shout at him. The group had actually been conducting protests by camping outside police headquarters, regularly disrupting weekly meetings held by the city Police Commission, LA Times reported.
In his speech, Mr. Obama urged for the public not to put blame against law enforcement for the high rate of imprisonment that affects the African-American community at present. The “problem of racial justice or injustice in society has been a running theme in this country’s history for a very long time,” the president said.