President Barack Obama made an appearance on Black Entertainment Television (BET) Monday to reach out to black Americans and discuss calls for criminal justice reform after two grand jury decisions cleared white police officers in the deaths of two black men. The president has to carefully express his concern for the safety of African-Americans while not undermining the law enforcement community. President Obama suggested that the issue of police vs. minorities is deeply rooted in American culture and is the result of police having a “subconscious fear of folks who look different.”
This country is at its best when everybody is being treated fairly. We have a history and a legacy of people not being treated fairly in all kinds of walks of life. It is particularly important for people to feel like they’re being treated fairly by law enforcement and police, because the consequences when they’re not treated fairly can be deadly.
And, you know, I’ve said it before, the vast majority of law enforcement officers are doing a really tough job, and most of them are doing it well and are trying to do the right thing. But a combination of bad training, in some cases, a combination in some cases of departments that really are not trying to root out biases, or tolerate sloppy police work. A combination, in some cases of folks just not knowing any better, and in a lot of cases, subconscious fear of folks who look different, all of this contributes to a national problem that’s going to require a national solution.
(h/t: The Right Scoop)
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Image credit: BET screenshot