Obama Speaks on George Floyd, Policing Reforms, and Protests: ‘Makes Me Feel Optimistic’ to See Young People Mobilizing


Former President Barack Obama spoke during an online town hall Wednesday afternoon about the killing of George Floyd and the need for policing reforms.

He said it “makes me feel optimistic” and “makes me feel as if this country’s going to get better” watching young people mobilizing and protesting.

Obama talked about “specific evidence-based reforms that, if we put in place today, would build trust, save lives, would not show an increase in crime,” referencing a 2015 task force report on 21st Century Policing.

“You look at those protests and that was a far more representative cross-section of America out on the streets peacefully protesting and who felt moved to do something because of the injusticed that they had seen,” Obama said. “There is a change in mindset that’s taking place, a greater recognition, that we can do better. And that is not as a consequence of speeches by politicians, that’s not the result of spotlights in news articles. That’s a direct result of the activities and organizing and mobilization and engagement of so many young people across the country who put themselves out on the line who make a different. So I just have to say thank you to them.”

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. And you should be able to learn and make mistakes and live a life of joy without having to worry about what’s going to happen when you go to the store or go for a job or driving down the street or looking at some birds in a park.”

You can watch his full address above, via CNN.

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: josh@mediaite.com Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac