In London, President Barack Obama addressed a crowd of young people to about activism, racial profiling and transgender rights. He also threw some indirect shade at The Black Lives Matter Movement saying that movements have to be more than “yelling,” the New York Times.
“Once you’ve highlighted an issue and brought it to people’s attention and shined a spotlight, and elected officials or people who are in a position to start bringing about change are ready to sit down with you, then you can’t just keep on yelling at them,” Mr. Obama said.
He added, “And you can’t refuse to meet because that might compromise the purity of your position. The value of social movements and activism is to get you at the table, get you in the room, and then to start trying to figure out how is this problem going to be solved.”
Perhaps Obama’s comments were in relation to numerous BLM activists turning down his invitation to meet with him earlier this year or the shutting down presidential candidates at rallies or private events. Either way, according to the Times, this isn’t the first time that POTUS has “warned” BLM activists telling them in a private meeting in 2014 that change was “hard and incremental.”
Clearly, not everyone has welcomed Mr. Obama’s statements about BLM with open arms. Some believe the statements were “despicable,” “anti-Black” and undermine what this movement has actually done.
What do you think? Were the President’s statements on-point or was our first Black President undermining an influential Black social movement?