While attending a NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland, on Saturday, President Barack Obama spoke once again about the violent events of this week, including the shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota by police officers and the targeted sniper attack against police in Dallas.
According to the Associated Press, the president noted that despite the violence between police officers and black men, “America is not as divided as some have suggested,” and that all Americans are mourning the Dallas attacks, which left five police officers dead and seven others injured.
“Americans of all races and backgrounds are rightly outraged by the inexcusable attacks on police, whether it’s in Dallas or anyplace else,” he said. “That includes protestors. It includes family members who have grave concerns about police conduct and they’ve said that this is unacceptable. There’s no division there.”
Obama described the Dallas shooter as a “demented individual.” He said the man, an Army veteran who was killed by police Thursday night, is not representative of black Americans.
“There’s unity in recognizing that this is not how we want our communities to operate,” Obama said. “This is not who we want to be as Americans and that serves as the basis for us being able to move forward in a constructive and positive way. So we cannot let the actions of a few define all of us.”
He went on to reiterate his dedication to enacting stricter gun legislation while maintaining that America has not reverted to the racism of the past.
“You’re not seeing riots and you’re not seeing police going after people who are protesting peacefully,” he said. “You’ve seen almost uniformly peaceful protests and you’ve seen, uniformly, police handling those protests with professionalism.”
Obama added: “So as tough, as hard, as depressing as the loss of life was this week, we’ve got a foundation to build on. We just have to have confidence that we can build on those better angels of our nature.”
On Friday, Obama condemned the “vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement” in another address from Warsaw and announced that he will cut his upcoming trip to Spain short in order to travel to Dallas.
And on Thursday, shortly after arriving in Warsaw, the POTUS addressed the deaths of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile in Flacon Heights, Minnesota, saying, “We have seen tragedies like this too many times.”
SOURCE: People – Andrea Park