President Obama says Black Lives Matter, the controversial protest movement currently stoking anti-cop hatred in America, is still a force for good.
In an interview with National Public Radio’s Steve Inskeep, Obama defended the group.
“Sometimes progress is a little uncomfortable,” he said.
Obama argued that systemic racism still existed in law enforcement and the justice system is a real problem that families of color have had to cope with.
“There’s no black family that hasn’t had a conversation around the kitchen table about driving while black and being profiled or being stopped,” he said.
Obama insisted that although the issue was “uncomfortable” for America to address, it was an issue that deserved more “sunlight.” The protest movement, he argued, was helping police officers understand and have conversations with communities of color.
“You know, during that process there’s going to be some noise and some discomfort, but I am absolutely confident that over the long term, it leads to a fair, more just, healthier America,” he said.
Obama also weighed in on the controversies surrounding college campuses, demanding that artifacts on campus be removed for the sake of racial sensitivities.
The president argued that students had to be willing to listen to other points of view, citing a specific situation where Condoleezza Rice was blocked from speaking at a college campus.
“What I don’t want is a situation in which particular points of view that are presented respectfully and reasonably are shut down, and we have seen that sometimes happen,” he said.
NPR’s Inskeep specifically mentioned the Harvard seal based on the family crest of a slave owner, and a school at Yale named after John C. Calhoun, a defender of slavery.
Although Obama was hesitant to respond specifically to the controversies, he argued that campus activism was a positive development for universities.
“I think it’s a healthy thing for young people to be engaged and to question authority and to ask why this instead of that, to ask tough questions about social justice,” he said. “So I don’t want to discourage kids from doing that.”
The former community organizer defended the recent protests sparked on campus.
“My concern is not whether there is campus activism. I think that’s a good thing,” he said. “But let kids ask questions and let universities respond.”