President Barack Obama met with civil rights leaders on Thursday afternoon to discuss issues such as criminal justice reform and building trust between the police and the communities they serve.
The list of invitees included representatives from the NAACP, Black Lives Matter, and the National Urban League, as well as University of Missouri student organizer DeShaunya Ware and the Reverend Al Sharpton. Obama praised the Black Lives Matter leaders in attendance, saying they have “made history” and done “outstanding work.”
Aislinn Pulley, a representative of Black Lives Matter Chicago, declined the invitation, saying in an article at Truthout.org, that she would not participate in what she called “basically a photo opportunity” for the president.
The clash between Republicans and the president over filling the Supreme Court vacancy also came up, with the Reverend Al characterizing the standoff as a “civil rights violation.”
“We see it as a civil rights violation for them to in any way impair the Constitution of this country and to act as if the president is anything less than the president of the United States until January 20, 2017,” the Rev. Al Sharpton told reporters after the private meeting. “He cannot be minimalized, marginalized or disregarded without doing the same to the American people.”
Sharpton’s sentiment captured long-held suspicions among many blacks that Obama has faced greater political opposition and public disrespect because of his race. Sharpton said Obama should not be “profiled any different than any other president in American history.”
In his remarks following the meeting, Obama praised the some of the community organizers in attendance by name, including Black Lives Matter agitator Deray McKesson.
“We’ve got some young people here who are making history as we speak,” Obama said. “People like Brittany [Packnett] who served on our Police Task Force in the wake of Ferguson and has led many of the protests that took place there and shined a light on the injustice that was happening. People like Deray McKesson who has done some outstanding work mobilizing in Baltimore around these issues — and to see generations who are continuing to work on behalf of justice and equality and economic opportunity is greatly encouraging to me.”
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Brittany and Deray did indeed “make history” in Ferguson, Missouri. The spike in crime rates that followed the protests has become known as “the Ferguson effect.”
Led behind the scenes by Obama and professional rabble-rousers like Al Sharpton and Deray McKesson (with assists from members of the mainstream media), a hate-campaign was launched against the police, starting with lies about what happened between the “unarmed teenager” Michael Brown and Officer Darren Wilson.
After leading the riots in Ferguson, McKesson went on to lead the violent protests in Baltimore that left parts of the city in flames.
DeRay Mckesson is now running for mayor of Baltimore, on a platform of increasing public accountability for the police and limiting their use of force.
FBI Director James Comey drew a sharp rebuke from the president last fall, when he claimed that the anti-police sentiment being fueled in places like Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore had resulted in a crime spike.
“Some part of the explanation is a chill wind blowing through American law enforcement over the last year. And that wind is surely changing behavior,” Comey said in an Oct. 23 speech at the University of Chicago Law School.
A couple of weeks later in Kansas City, Comey said that “hundreds of police officers and chiefs” had told him that “the prospect of getting caught on camera and turned into a viral YouTube video have made them less willing to do their jobs.”
According to Comey, police had been telling him “we are making arrests, we are doing our jobs.” But….
Where we are stepping back a little bit is at the margins, where we might otherwise have gotten out of our cars and talked to a group. We’re not doing that so much anymore because we don’t feel like being that guy in the video.
This hesitancy of the police to act has led to an emboldened criminal element and an increase in murders, shootings, violent assaults and criminal mayhem in major American cities. In one week alone this month, six police officers were gunned down by assailants — a tragic phenomenon this president has yet to weigh in on.