President Obama made his first public comments about the Justice Department’s “Ferguson Report” Friday and he said he doesn’t think police racial bias is isolated to Ferguson.
“I don’t think that is typical of what happens across the country but it’s not an isolated incident,” he said on Sirius XM’s show “Urban View” with Joe Madison Friday.
“I think there are circumstances in which trust between communities and law enforcement have broken down, and individuals or entire departments may not have the training or the accountability to make sure that they are protecting and serving all people and not just some,” he added.
According to the Associated Press The Obama family will be going to Selma Saturday to commemorate the civil rights march to Montgomery, Ala. but the president still believes voter rights are an issue today.
“When it comes to voting, we still see big chunks of the community disenfranchised. Part of that is the responsibility of Congress to pass and renew a Voting Rights Act, the seminal capstone of the civil rights movement and the march on Selma,” he told Madison.
“When you think about the mighty battles that were fought, the notion that you’d only have a third or a half of African Americans voting at this stage, that is not living up to the legacy that has been presented.”
The president didn’t elaborate on exactly how African-Americans are being disenfranchised, particularly considering only 36.4 percent of ALL eligible voters voted in the 2014 midterm elections according to the United States Elections Project.
Obama added that he hoped young people learn that the struggle for civil rights was a recent one.
“This isn’t ancient history, and I worry sometimes that our kids, black or white, they are in a classroom where they see the ‘I have a dream’ speech during black history month and they kind of think that this is something that happened way back in the past,” Obama said. “This is something that happened within my lifetime.”
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