President Obama responded to black activists who deny that racial progress has been made in the United States by arguing that they are preempting the possibility of further progress.
“There’s no reason for folks to be patient. I’m impatient. That’s why in the wake of what happened in Ferguson and what happened in New York, we’ve initiated task forces that in 90 days, are going to be providing very specific recommendations,” he told CNN’s Candy Crowley. “On the other hand, I think an unwillingness to acknowledge that progress has been made cuts off the possibility of further progress. If — if critics want to suggest that America is inherently and irreducibly racist, then why bother even working on it? I’ve seen change in my own life. So has this country. And those who would deny that, I think, actually foreclose the possibility of further progress rather than advancing it.”
The president gave the interview on Friday. Last night, he called for “patient dialogue” in a statement on the Saturday murder of two police officers in Brooklyn.
“I unconditionally condemn today’s murder of two police officers in New York City,” Obama said. “Two brave men won’t be going home to their loved ones tonight, and for that, there is no justification. The officers who serve and protect our communities risk their own safety for ours every single day — and they deserve our respect and gratitude every single day. Tonight, I ask people to reject violence and words that harm, and turn to words that heal — prayer, patient dialogue, and sympathy for the friends and family of the fallen.”