Obama Praises George Floyd Protests: ‘Makes Me Feel Optimistic’

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 26: Former President Barack Obama speaks at a rally to support Michigan democratic candidates at Detroit Cass Tech High School on October 26, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. Obama, and former Attorney General Eric Holder, who was also at the rally, are among approximately a dozen democrats …
Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

The Washington Post on Thursday opened an online interview with Valerie Jarrett about race with a montage of peaceful protests and an appraisal of them in the wake of George Floyd’s death from her former boss, Barack Obama.

“When sometimes I feel despair I just see what’s happening with young people all across the country and the talent, and the voice, the sophistication that they are displaying and it makes me feel optimistic,” Obama said. “It makes me feel … this country is going to get better.”

Washington Post columnist Karen Tumulty called the protests sparked after Floyd, a black man who died at the hands of Minneapolis police, “peaceful” and made no mention of the widespread violence at many of them.

That violence has taken place in major American cities over the past two weeks where stores were looted and burned, monuments and historic buildings vandalized, and police were driven out of their precincts, some of which were set ablaze or taken over by protesters.

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