As the massive unrest in Ferguson, MO continues into its second week, President Obama just spoke about what the federal government is doing in the wake of the death of African-American teenager Michael Brown.
According to Obama, an independent federal civil rights investigation is ongoing, and the government is devoting “substantial resources” to ensuring that it is carried out fairly and thoroughly. Attorney General Eric Holder is traveling to Ferguson on Wednesday to meet with both the Department of Justice as well as leaders of the community whose “support is critically in bringing about peace.”
The goal is to reduce tensions among the community, which has been ravaged in the wake of Brown’s death by clashes with police. “We have all seen images of protestors and law enforcement in the streets, a small minority are not peacefully protesting,” Obama said while simultaneously denouncing the destruction that has come along with these protests as he added, “Looting and carrying guns only serves to raise tension and stir chaos.”
The President continued to preach lawful behavior and unity, uttering oft-repeated ideas like, “Excessive force is unnecessary,” “Ours is a nation of laws for the citizens who live under them and those who enforce them,” “Let’s seek to heal rather than to wound each other,” and “As Americans we have to use this opportunity to seek our shared humanity.”
It's a refrain that has grown tired for many.
Those expecting Obama to take sides or show strong emotion on the topic were, once again, left sorely disappointed. As with his previous statements on Ferguson, Obama was careful in choosing his words and clearly did not want to stir any further trouble by taking sides. In what is an emotional issue for so many people, the President has remained publicly dispassionate in his handling of the unrest.
His lack of an opinion has enflamed numerous Twitter users, many of whom simply want their President to take some kind of a position on this incredibly divisive situation. Here’s a sample of some of what people are saying:
I get Obama's role but if he cant speak directly to this situation then what POTUS will? Im tired of our plights needing framing to be heard— Elon James White (@elonjames) August 18, 2014
Remember when Obama had a "beer summit" with the cop who arrested Henry freaking Louis Gates Jr. at his own home— Heben Nigatu (@heavenrants) August 18, 2014
Someone should have let Obama know that this isn't a theoretical problem in a law textbook.— Russ Bengtson (@russbengtson) August 18, 2014
obama seems to have the same level of passion for his job right now as i have for cleaning my apartment two weeks before i’m moving— andy levy (@andylevy) August 18, 2014
Bet when Obama does his post-potus book, he'll describe this moment being the lowest personal point in his career.— Lil' Flouse (@mrlandolakes) August 18, 2014
I'm usually understanding of how Obama handles these events but I think the possibility that this is racially motivated should be mentioned— omen (@omen) August 18, 2014
obama could have easily condemned the police for corralling and threatening journalists without risking the race card argument, but NOPE— off-brand brandon (@dropkickpikachu) August 18, 2014
I don't want Obama to be against law enforcement. I want him to be for constitutional rights. I took civics. That's not too much to ask for.— Kia Speaks (@kiaspeaks) August 18, 2014
if Obama wants the healing to begin maybe he can start by shifting DHS funding to buy milk and maalox for protestors— Horton (@crushingbort) August 18, 2014
Obama should have had a human moment. But he's not concerned with systems of oppression. He's concerned with more riots starting everywhere.— José (@modernjam) August 18, 2014
Barack Obama is the president not a civil rights leader.— lil duval (@lilduval) August 18, 2014