Barack Obama on George Floyd Protests: “Let’s Not Excuse Violence, or Rationalize It”

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Barack Obama has called on protesters not to participate in violence as they campaign for justice for George Floyd. The former president offered advice on fighting racial injustice.

Obama published an article on Medium on Monday entitled “How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change.”

“As millions of people across the country take to the streets and raise their voices in response to the killing of George Floyd and the ongoing problem of unequal justice, many people have reached out asking how we can sustain momentum to bring about real change,” Obama wrote.

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He said that “a new generation of activists” would be crucial in the campaign for racial justice. The Democrat offered advice on how to approach the issue and encouraged people to vote.

However, he also criticized those engaged in violence amid the protests. There has been violence, vandalism and looting alongside peaceful protesting.

“[T]he small minority of folks who’ve resorted to violence in various forms, whether out of genuine anger or mere opportunism, are putting innocent people at risk, compounding the destruction of neighborhoods that are often already short on services and investment and detracting from the larger cause,” Obama said.

“So let’s not excuse violence, or rationalize it, or participate in it,” he said.

“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.”