Former President Barack Obama stopped by 60 Minutes on Sunday to discuss his new book, A Promised Land. While there, he was asked about the state of police brutality and racial tensions in America. Specifically, the 44th President spoke about how the killing of George Floyd has shaped American discourse on the topic of race.
“It was heartbreaking,” he said.
“Very rarely, though, did you see it so viscerally and over a stretch of time where the humanity of the victim is so apparent, the pain and the vulnerability of someone so clear. And it was, I think, a moment in which America for a brief moment came face to face with a reality that African Americans in this country I think had understood for quite some time."
The former President is no stranger to acts of police brutality shaping discourse in America. During the midpoint of his second term, he and Eric Holder oversaw the Ferguson uprisings following the death of Michael Brown. Months later, similar events took place in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray. Following the events that took place in Ferguson, Baltimore, Minneapolis and several other cities, he shared his thoughts on what the country could do to curb the violence that threatens the lives of Black Americans.
“We have a criminal justice system in which we ask oftentimes very young, oftentimes not-very-well-trained officers to go into communities and just keep a lid on things. And, you know, we don’t try to get at some of the underlying causes for chronic poverty," he added.
Obama offers his thoughts in a more in-depth fashion in his upcoming book. It is available in stores on November 17.
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