Obama says 'snappy' slogans like 'defund the police' alienates people

Obama criticizes Democrats for alienating voters with the ‘defund the police’ slogan and warns that the ‘white population’ fears the ‘African American community’ will ‘get out of control’ with police reform

  • Obama said that Democrats alienate people with usage of ‘defund the police’  
  • He said that an audience becomes lost ‘the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you’re actually going to get the changes you want done’
  • In a separate interview, Obama said that white people are fearful that black people will get out of control if police reform is carried out across the US 
  • He explained that the black community is looking for ‘good and fair policing’

Former president Barack Obama has criticized the usage of the ‘defund the police’ slogan and warns that the ‘white population’ is fearful that the ‘African American community’ will get out of control with police reform. 

Obama made the remarks in two separate interviews, one with CNN analyst April Ryan and the other for a segment on Peter Hamby’s Snapchat show Good Luck America. 

The interview with Hamby is set to air Wednesday morning and shows Obama telling the host that ‘snappy’ slogans like ‘defund the police’ can alienate people.

‘You lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you’re actually going to get the changes you want done,’ Obama told Hamby, according to Axios. 

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Former president Barack Obama (pictured) has criticized the usage of the ‘defund the police’ slogan in an interview set to air on Wednesday

Protesters have continued to push ‘defund the police’ since the Memorial Day death of George Floyd, who died under the knee of a white Milwaukee cop, as well as other black Americans, including Breonna Taylor and Rayshard Brooks, who were killed by law enforcement. 

Their chant has become a rallying cry — and a stick for President Donald Trump to use on Democrats as he portrays them as soft on crime.

Supporters say it isn’t about eliminating police departments or stripping agencies of all of their money.

They say it is time for the country to address systemic problems in policing in America and spend more on what communities across the US need, like housing and education.   

While speaking with Ryan, Obama also talked about racism in America, and even highlighted the arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr, 58, a Harvard professor who was arrested after a neighbor called the police on him when he struggled to get into his home. 

Cambridge police officer Sgt James Crowley did acknowledge that Gates proved he lived there by showing him his identification but Gates was arrested anyway for ‘disorderly conduct’.


While speaking with Ryan (left), Obama also talked about racism in America, noting that the white population is fearful that ‘somehow the African American community is going to get out of control in some way’ with police reform 

The former president, who discussed the Black Lives Matter movement in his new book A Promised Land, went on to explain that the black community is looking for ‘good and fair policing’

Obama said that President-elect Joe Biden isn’t going to be able to fix racism in the US but his administration could ‘set a tone of inclusion’ and ‘send a message that racism is not acceptable’

Crowley reportedly asked him to step outside at which point Gates said: ‘Why, because I’m a black man in America?’ 

Using Gates as an example, Obama told Ryan: ‘I commented during a press conference…about the fact that “well you know I think the Cambridge police probably acted stupidly in arresting somebody in their own home, a 60-year-old man that posed no threat.”‘

‘And this became a big controversy,’ Obama said, adding that: ‘Just the fact that I was seen as questioning the police…really upset a bunch of folks and I think it indicated the degree to which the issue of police relations with minority communities, and the black community in particular, is always a hot topic.’

‘It is something that unearths or escalates fears within the white population that somehow the African American community is going to get out of control in some way or is not respecting authority,’ Obama said.  

The former president, who discussed the Black Lives Matter movement in his new book A Promised Land, went on to explain that the black community is looking for ‘good and fair policing’.

He then said that President-elect Joe Biden isn’t going to be able to fix racism in the US but his administration could ‘set a tone of inclusion’ and ‘send a message that racism is not acceptable’.

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