4 Jun 2020

'Your lives matter, your dreams matter' - Barack Obama to young Americans

From Checkpoint, 6:22 pm on 4 June 2020

Meanwhile former US President Barack Obama has spoken publicly for the first time since George Floyd's death, saying that while the protests have been difficult and scary, they provide an opportunity for change.

His address was part of a discussion hosted by My Brother's Keeper, a programme Obama founded in 2014 after the police shooting of black teenager Michael Brown in Missouri.

The comments were in stark contrast to President Trump, who has threatened to deploy the military on protestors. Obama said there was a change in mindset taking place, and a push for America to do better.

Obama did not mention Trump in his address but appeared somewhat more presidential than the current US leader, speaking directly to young black Americans with a message of hope.

He also implicitly rejected those, like Trump, who have focused criticism on the demonstrators, saying the United States was founded on protests in the American Revolution.