Former US President Barack Obama has offered Americans the path to “real change,” calling for participation both in politics and protests, seeking racial justice in America.
“The bottom line is this: if we want to bring about real change, then the choice isn’t between protest and politics. We have to do both. We have to mobilize to raise awareness, and we have to organize and cast our ballots to make sure that we elect candidates who will act on reform,” Obama said Monday amid protests over the murder of George Floyd and police brutality in the United States.
The Democratic politician further condemned violence and the “corrosive role that racism plays in our society.”
“Yes, we should be fighting to make sure that we have a president, a Congress, a US Justice Department, and a federal judiciary that actually recognize the ongoing, corrosive role that racism plays in our society and want to do something about it,” Obama wrote. “But the elected officials who matter most in reforming police departments and the criminal justice system work at the state and local levels.”
He made the comments amid the social unrest that has gripped the country over the murder of another black man by a white police officer.
“Let’s not excuse violence, or rationalize it, or participate in it. If we want our criminal justice system, and American society at large, to operate on a higher ethical code, then we have to model that code ourselves,” wrote the former president.
Obama on Friday called for officials in the US sate of Minnesota to bring the officers the murdered Floyd to justice.
Floyd’s death on May 25 and the subsequent release of a bystander’s cellphone video sparked demonstrations across the states.
Police-involved shootings and killings of unarmed black men in the hands of white police officers have led to mass protests across the country in recent years and the formation of the Black Lives Matter movement.