Obama Addresses George Floyd, Systemic Racism & the Pandemic in Online Town Hall

June 4, 2020
Barack Obama

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Former President Barack Obama appeared on a virtual town hall Wednesday, and spoke about how systemic racism has been revealed during the coronavirus crisis and the death of George Floyd and subsequent protests, ABC News reports. Obama called recent events "difficult and scary and uncertain," but said they also offer "an incredible opportunity." "They offer an opportunity for us to work together to tackle them, to take them on, to change America and make it live up to its highest ideals," he said. "Part of what’s made me so hopeful is the fact that so many young people have been galvanized and activated and motivated and mobilized. Because historically, so much of the progress that we've made in our society has been because of young people." He also spoke directly to young people of color, saying, "I want you to know that your lives matter. Your dreams matter." Obama also addressed the recent protests. "The fact that people are paying attention, provides an opportunity to educate activate mobilize and act, and I hope that we are able to seize this moment," he said. "This country was founded on protest... and every step of progress in this country, every expansion of freedom and every expression of our deepest ideals has been won through efforts that made the status quo uncomfortable."