Obama Marks Ferguson Anniversary: The Country Has Been Doing Some 'Soul Searching'

"Over the past year, we’ve come to see, more clearly than ever, the frustration in many communities of color and the feeling that our laws can be applied unevenly."

In his Saturday weekly address, President Obama marked the anniversary of Michael Brown's death in Ferguson, Missouri. He wasted no time in shaming society for not addressing these issues until now and how a year of "soul searching" has done America good.

The president said:

It’s now been a year since the tragic death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. His death—along with the events in Cleveland, Staten Island, Baltimore, Cincinnati, and other communities—sparked protests and soul searching all across our country. Over the past year, we’ve come to see, more clearly than ever, the frustration in many communities of color and the feeling that our laws can be applied unevenly.

He added that though there has been some progress, it can't be the responsibility of police alone to fix the nation's ill, but society as a whole. "We simply can’t ask our police to contain and control issues that the rest of us aren’t willing to address—as a society," Obama said.

That's when he laid out an extensive plan based on the data compiled by the task force that was set up after Ferguson to tackle the issue of policing in America. Obama is calling for completion of 59 recommendations by the task force. That includes sharing arrest reports and stops with the public, outfitting police with more body cameras, and even exploring "alternatives to incarceration."

"More broadly," Obama added, "we need to truly invest in our children and our communities so that more young people see a better path for their lives."

Through "investing in early childhood education, job training, [and] pathways to college," the president aims to deal "honestly with issues of race, poverty, and class." The larger goal is to ensure impoverished communities cease from "feeling isolated and segregated from greater opportunity."

Because, in the end, that’s always been the promise of America. And that’s what I’ll keep working for every single day that I’m President. 

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