Days after President Donald Trump encouraged the use of violence on protesters and hid in a bunker as demonstrations ensued around the White House, former President Barack Obama will hopefully give America the healing address it deserves.
This evening, Obama will speak on the death of George Floyd and the ongoing protests against police brutality and racism around the country, which viewers can stream on obama.org at 5 p.m. eastern. The event is in partnership with the Obama Foundation’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, which supports young men of color.
The town hall, titled “Reimagining Policing in the Wake of Continued Police Violence,” will also feature vocal activists, community leaders, and organizers including activist Brittany Packnett Cunningham, City Council Representative Phillipe Cunningham, My Brother’s Keeper youth leader Playton Patrick, former Attorney General Eric H. Holder, and Color of Change President Rashad Robinson.
Obama spoke out last week with a powerful statement addressing the police killing of Floyd and the viral racist threat targeting bird-watcher Christian Cooper, as well as systematic racism in the United States. “This shouldn’t be ‘normal’ in 2020 America. It can’t be ‘normal,'” he wrote. “If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must be better.”
After protests spread through the country over the weekend, Obama shared an essay in which he suggested how demonstrators can effectively demand change while also denouncing violence and riots. “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,” he wrote.
He also shared a page of resources on his website highlighting leaders, organizations, initiatives, and more that people can support to demand justice for Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and the countless other lives lost to racist acts of violence.
Watch President Barack Obama’s town hall in the video above or online at obama.org today, starting at 5 p.m. ET.
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