President Obama on the George Floyd Protests: ‘There is a Change in Mindset That’s Taking Place’ – By Tessa Stuart (Rolling Stone) / June 3 2020
“I see what is happening with young people all across the country,” said the former president, “and it makes me feel optimistic”
President Barack Obama shared his perspective on the protests that have gripped the nation for the last six days on Wednesday afternoon, issued a call to action for voters and mayors around the county, and talked about why he remains optimistic about America’s future.
The former president appeared via Zoom from his home, at the top of a video conference hosted by the Obama Foundation on the subject of reimagining police violence. He was joined on the call by Brittany Packnett Cunningham, the co-founder of Campaign Zero, and his former Attorney General Eric Holder, among others. “In some ways, as tragic as these past few weeks have been, as difficult and scary and uncertain as they’ve been, they’ve also been an incredible opportunity for people to be awakened,” Obama said.
“There is a change in mindset that’s taking place,” Obama said, “A greater recognition that we can do better. And that is not a consequence of speeches by politicians… That’s a direct result of the activities and organizing and mobilization and engagement of so many young people.”
He spoke directly to young men and women of color in America, who, Obama said, “have witnessed too much violence and too much death, and too often some of that violence has come from folks who were supposed to be serving and protecting you.” To them he said: “I want you to know that you matter, that your lives matter, that your dreams matter.”