Billed as a “National Conversation with the People of the United States on Race Relations, Justice, Policing and Equality”—the one-hour ABC News discussion attempted to touch the surface of these urgent and deeply interrelated matters.
Unfortunately, several key people who were impacted by last week’s tragedies were not present because they were attending funerals. And some who did attend were left frustrated. Said Black Lives Matter founder Patrisse Cullors:
“ABC used the faces of the black community to exhibit a watered-down message of hope and reconciliation. And Obama collaborated. Instead of what felt like a placating and painfully repetitive conversation about issues – which organizers and advocates had already broached with the president – we should have been discussing more pressing matters.”
The townhall was part of a series of events the President has participated in this week in the wake of the Dallas rampage that left five police officers dead and eleven others wounded, following the two police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota earlier in the week.
On Wednesday, Obama had convened a longer, edgier meeting at the White House with police, elected officials, and civil rights advocates to address what all acknowledge is a gaping divide between communities, viewpoints, and races.
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