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Obama: We Have To Make Sure ‘We’re Not Painting Anybody With An Overly Broad Brush’


On Saturday, during a speech in Warsaw, Poland, President Obama said all of us need to “step back, do some reflection, and make sure that the rhetoric that we engage in is constructive, and not destructive, that we’re not painting anybody with an overly broad brush, that we’re not constantly thinking the worst in other people rather than the best.”

Obama stated, “The demented individual who carried out those attacks in Dallas, he’s no more representative of African-Americans than the shooter in Charleston was representative of white Americans, or the shooter in Orlando or San Bernardino were representative of Muslim Americans. They don’t speak for us. That’s not who we are.”

He later added, “So, when we start suggesting that somehow, there’s this enormous polarization, and we’re back to the situation in the ’60s, and — that’s just not true. You’re not seeing riots, and you’re not seeing police going after people who are protesting peacefully. You’ve seen almost uniformly peaceful protests. And you’ve seen, uniformly, police handling those protests with professionalism. And so, as tough, as hard, as depressing as the loss of life was this week, we’ve got a foundation to build on.”

Obama concluded, “We just have to have confidence that we can build on those better angels of our nature. And we have to make sure that all of us step back, do some reflection, and make sure that the rhetoric that we engage in is constructive, and not destructive, that we’re not painting anybody with an overly broad brush, that we’re not constantly thinking the worst in other people rather than the best. If we do that, then I’m confident that we will continue to make progress.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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