President Obama took some time during his most recent speech in London to address “young leaders” of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The Potus was heard passionately telling young activists to stop “yelling” at political leaders, and get more involved with actually “working with” political figures.
After responding to a questioner who suggested that his administration had not done enough to address racial profiling at airports — a practice that Mr. Obama said he adamantly opposed — the president turned his attention to the Black Lives Matter movement.
He praised the movement as “really effective in bringing attention to problems,” but said young activists should be more willing to work with political leaders to craft solutions instead of criticizing from outside the political process.
“Once you’ve highlighted an issue and brought it to people’s attention and shined a spotlight, and elected officials or people who are in a position to start bringing about change are ready to sit down with you, then you can’t just keep on yelling at them,” Mr. Obama said.
“And you can’t refuse to meet because that might compromise the purity of your position,” he continued. “The value of social movements and activism is to get you at the table, get you in the room, and then to start trying to figure out how is this problem going to be solved.”
“You then have a responsibility to prepare an agenda that is achievable, that can institutionalize the changes you seek, and to engage the other side, and occasionally to take half a loaf that will advance the gains that you seek, understanding that there’s going to be more work to do, but this is what is achievable at this moment,” he said.
Do you agree with the President? What are some ways you can get more involved with working with your local politicians to further the fight for racial and social equality? #MakeAStatement