Just over the last year or so, the right has made a concerted effort to hold President Obama responsible for tensions between law enforcement and minority communities. Republican presidential hopefuls and conservative media outlets have even gone to ugly lengths to blame the White House for incidents involving violence towards police officers.
It appears the president has heard the chatter. It also appears that he doesn’t care for it.
Obama delivered remarks over the weekend at the Congressional Black Caucus 45th Annual Phoenix Awards Dinner, and he set aside time to make his opinions clear. From the official transcript:
“I want to repeat – because somehow this never shows up on Fox News. I want to repeat – because I’ve said it a lot, unwaveringly, all the time: Our law enforcement officers do outstanding work in an incredibly difficult and dangerous job. They put their lives on the line for our safety. We appreciate them and we love them. That’s why my Task Force on 21st Century Policing made a set of recommendations that I want to see implemented to improve their safety, as well as to make sure that our criminal justice system is being applied fairly. Officers show uncommon bravery in our communities every single day. They deserve our respect. […]“So I just want to repeat, because somehow this never gets on the TV: There is no contradiction between us caring about our law enforcement officers and also making sure that our laws are applied fairly. Do not make this as an either/or proposition. This is a both/and proposition. We want to protect our police officers. We’ll do a better job doing it if our communities can feel confident that they are being treated fairly. I hope I’m making that clear. I hope I’m making that clear.”
Seems clear enough to me.
Of course, the president’s speech touched on a variety of other issues, most of which focused on equal opportunities for women. MSNBC published some video excerpts here, here, and here.
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Obama and the issue that 'somehow this never gets on the TV'