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“Too many young men of color feel targeted by law enforcement, guilty of walking while black, or driving while black, judged by stereotypes that fuel fear and resentment and hopelessness,” Obama said. “We know that, statistically, in everything from enforcing drug policy to applying the death penalty to pulling people over, there are significant racial disparities. That’s just the statistics. One recent poll showed that the majority of Americans think the criminal justice system doesn’t treat people of all races equally. Think about that. That’s not just blacks, not just Latinos or Asians or Native Americans saying things may not be unfair. That’s most Americans.”

And that has a corrosive effect — not just on the black community; it has a corrosive effect on America,” the President added. “It harms the communities that need law enforcement the most. It makes folks who are victimized by crime and need strong policing reluctant to go to the police because they may not trust them. And the worst part of it is it scars the hearts of our children. And to that end, we need to help communities and law enforcement build trust, build understanding, so that our neighborhoods stay safe and our young people stay on track,” Obama said. “And under the leadership of Attorney General Eric Holder, the Justice Department has launched a national effort to do just that.”

Even though Holder is leaving his post, black folks can take comfort in the fact that Obama not only understands that our young black men are being shot and killed senselessly by police, he is moved to action to confront this crisis. And that’s true leadership from a Black president.

What do you think?

(Photo: Associated Press)

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COMMENTARY: Obama Gets It – Too Many Black Men Are Targeted By Police  was originally published on

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