Washington : President Barack Obama said racial discrimination still exists in the United States and protesters against police violence could not be dismissed as “troublemakers or paranoid.”
While paying tribute to the five police officers killed in Dallas last week, at an interfaith memorial service on Tuesday, the U.S. President on also called for peace and to stop the conflict between the police and the protesters and black and white, admitting previous approaches, including his own, are failing, reports The Guardian.
He also urged the angry citizens to acknowledge the dangers that the police face while performing its duty.
“I’m not naive. I have spoken at too many memorials in the course of this presidency. I’ve seen how inadequate words can be at bringing about lasting change. I see the inadequacy of my own words,” said President Obama.
He added: “I understand how Americans are feeling. But, Dallas, I’m here to say we must reject such despair. I’m here to insist that we are not as divided as we seem.”
The President also navigated on gun violence in America, and the rising confrontation between police and the people they are meant to protect, particularly African Americans.
The foe, he said, was not people who held opposing views or attended protests but rather, “business as usual, inertia, old habits, expediency.”
Those tendencies, he said, lead to “oversimplification that reduces whole categories of our fellow Americans not just to opponents but to enemies.”
He added the oversimplification cut both ways calling on the Police to acknowledge that every institution, include police departments, is vulnerable to racism and bigotry.
At the same time, he said, people on the other side of the argument must recognize the nature of policing dangerous neighborhoods where officers are required to make instant decisions.
On Wednesday, he will host a meeting with law enforcement officials, activists and civil rights leaders to discuss ways to repair “the bonds of trust” between communities and police. (ANI)