As America looks to move forward from protests in the wake of George Floyd’s killing, former President Barack Obama penned a set of guidelines published Monday in Medium.
Obama believes there are some ‘basic lessons worth remembering.’ While he says the wave of protests “represent a genuine and legitimate frustration over a decades-long failure to reform police practices and the broader criminal justices system… The overwhelming majority of participants have been peaceful, courageous, responsible, and inspiring. They deserve our respect and support, not condemnation.”
He also mentions “the small minority of folks who’ve resorted to violence,” saying they are “putting innocent people at risk,” and adding “let’s not excuse violence, or rationalize it, or participate in it.”
Former President Obama says reform starts with elected and appointed officials on the local level. And he says the more specific the demands for reform, the hard it will be for officials to give ‘lip service.’
He concludes with, “If, going forward, we can channel our justifiable anger into peaceful, sustained, and effective action, this moment can be a real turning point in our nation’s long journey to live up to our highest ideals. Let’s get to work.”