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Credit: The White House

President Obama supports the University Of Missouri protestors vocalizing their discontent with how the campus is being run, but said they shouldn’t be muzzling or shooting down speech they disagree with. ABC released a video from the President’s interview with George Stephanopoulos yesterday and in it, Obama says it’s entirely appropriate for students to protest in a thoughtful and peaceful way but added that being an activist involves hearing the other side.

Stephanopoulos brought up the idea of militant political correctness, which Obama completely rejected as a useful tactic for protestors.

Obama continued, noting that it’s important for protestors to be able to listen because if they feel threatened by dissenting ideas, that’s a recipe for dogmatism and they won’t be as effective.

Some are confused by Obama’s statements, questioning who he is referring to as the other side and why protestors should listen at all.

What are your thoughts on the President’s statements?

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  • [email protected]

    The President omitted numerous key points. The problem is not that the protesters haven’t listened to the other side. The other side has made their views known when they go on TV and call refugees terrorists. The other side has made their doctrines known when they want any form of the social safety net to be gone and they desire no increase of the minimum wage. The other side is very clear when they demonize strong protesters who just want freedom and no massive tuition hikes in Universities nationwide. So, the other side has shown their retrograde, despicable views for decades and centuries. We are not the other side. We are fighters for freedom and justice. It is our ancestors who worked in this land without wages. Our ancestors suffered the whip and lash by white racist brutes. Yet, out of rebellion against evil, not listening to the enemies of freedom, that we stood up against slavery, against Jim Crow, against discrimination, and against any forms of oppression. So, the views of the other side (that deals with austerity, the status quo, racial colorblindness, and no accountability) can go into perdition. So, we have always listened to the other side and we reject the agenda of that side period. That’s the point. When black faculty members of Missou suffer racist taunts, then the other side has shown its face. We will defend black people and we will defend truth plus justice.

  • Chazz A

    The “other side” as the Prez puts it stood to lose a million dollars if Wolfe refused to resign and Mizzou had to cancel the game due to the brother’s boycott. The University collected 84 million dollars in revenue last season alone, by the way.
    Now, in true fashion, the Prez is ushered in to make a plea to the protesters, in other words, “calm down the rowdy blacks before we get more bad press”.
    I refer to the following quote each time a situation like this arises, its over 50 yrs old but still has relevance today………………

    “If Martin Luther King, Roy Wilkins or any of these compromising negroes who say exactly what the white man wants to hear, is interviewed anywhere in the country you don’t get anybody to offset what they say. But whenever a black man stands up and says something that white people don’t like then the first thing that white man does is run around and try and find somebody to say something to offset what has just been said. This is natural, but it is done.”

    el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz

    • vintage3000

      Thank you for posting this, I have never read this quote.

      Earlier today Obama stated there are Syrian Americans who are good, decent people who don’t deserve to be singled out because of the terrorist attacks in Paris. Which is certainly the truth, but he appears to be unable to give the brave Mizzou students the same level of respect for their intelligence, strategy and modern civil disobedient act that has succeeded. Meanwhile he hasn’t said word one about the racist acts on this campus nor the threats to Black students’s lives on campus across the South. I am embarrassed that I helped place this negro in office.

    • [email protected]

      Excellent points. The brave students of Mizzou, who are fighting for a great cause, deserve a lot more respect than that.

    • vintage3000

      Yes this is a slap in the face to these educated young Black people. I hope they collectively address this on Obama’s social media and call him out on it. He has had all kinds of filth make awful comments about his wife and children and he doesn’t speak one word about them, now here he is basically saying these Black students are reactionary and ill-informed. o/t but I would love to know what Michelle thinks about her husband’s administration in regards to Black people.

    • [email protected]

      It’s very disrespectful for him to make such a comment. For decades, black students and faculty in the University of Missouri have talked about being called the N word on a daily basis. Wild, uncouth, and barbaric white racists have terrorized black people in the Missouri area. He, as President, ought to speak up about these things in uncompromising terms. These heroic black people in Mizzou are not taking it anymore, There are numerous stories nationwide when black students have been the victims of tons of injustices. I wonder what the First Lady thinks about this as well. It is obvious that the First Lady is more forthright in exposing the epidemic of racism in America.

    • vintage3000

      Yes, at first we thought he was being the cool academic. No one doubts his love for his family, but what kind of man always stays silent publicly when his wife is being verbally harassed? I remember during his first administration when Rush Limbaugh made one of his disgusting comments about some white woman who questioned the purchase of birth control with insurance. Obama put on his cape and apologized to her in his place. Yes he’s a politician and he was aiming for the white female vote; but at the same time he has never pandered to the black vote at all.

      re: Michelle and with my conspiracy hat on, it seems like they have not been seen in public all lovey dovey as in years past.

    • Marmaduke

      I’ve been trying to find all kinds of reasons for his silence on specifically black issues because it honestly hurts to admit that he might not care or is too scared to say anything. But what makes me bitter is the fact that he’ll directly respond on twitter to that kid with the clock and his bomb scare, but a little girl in foster care whipped around like a rag doll in class by a grown cop doesn’t get a shout out?

      I thought at least, since he’s on his way out, he’d get more outspoken. But not like this.

    • vintage3000

      I thought exactly the same, Marmaduke. I thought the Beer Summit was bad enough with him inviting a profiling white cop to the WH for a beer. But he continues to show his absolute disgust or dismissive attitude towards what we are facing in this country. He could comment on the Kanye/Taylor Swift controversy by referring to Kanye as an idiot, but doesn’t have jack to say about a black girl the age of his daughters being brutalized like that. And you are right it does hurt to admit he doesn’t give a damn, which is why I think a lot of Black people still support him. He really should be ashamed, and I will be glad to see him leave.

    • [email protected]

      Very Deep words Sister.

      We face a critical time in our history. Black people face the same enemy and there are those who still want to keep their heads in the sand. It is a known fact that the corporate media, Hollywood, and other entities make it their living to not show en masse images of black people loving each other, caring for each other, and defending each other. Since the President, with his lackadaisical policies that don’t represent the essence of black liberation, is the spokesman of the establishment in many levels, that is one reason why he doesn’t go the extra mile in defending our interests as black people. Those racists are evil for even criticizing First Lady Michelle Obama for doing commonsense actions like standing up for healthy students or supporting military families.

      It is not a secret that white supremacists work everyday to bring division, hate, and mistreatment among black people of both genders. That is why we have to promote black solidarity and respect those who respect us and never ally with those who abhor us. Solidarity has nothing to do with supporting black people who are misogynists, haters of other black people unfairly, or traitors. Black solidarity is allying and supporting progressive black people who want the same goal of justice and human liberation.

      One truth that I have noticed is that white society fears a strong, fearless, and outspoken black woman and a strong, fearless, and outspoken black man. That is the reason why anything a black person speaks truth to power, many get uncomfortable. So, we shouldn’t back down, we have every right to speak up, and we will believe in justice for our black people.

    • Chazz A

      You’re welcome Vintage3000. That is a good point. I always listen with a third ear, as Joe Madison says. The Prez has the same subtle arrogance that he had when he spoke on the rogue cop Pantaleo, after he choked brother Garner to death in broad daylight. Its the same condescending attitude that he presents when dealing with issues concerning black people.

    • Chazz A

      Vintage3000, The quote is from an old newsreel in which el-Shabazz was speaking about media manipulation during the Civil Rights movement. I have a video tape of some of his rare interviews and speeches that he did here in NY. Try you-tube, there may be a clip there.

    • vintage3000

      Thanks Chazz!

  • binks

    My thoughts? He didn’t just get it wrong he missed the boat, is in the wrong chapter and book, and another realm altogether. This is NOT a time to “listen to the other side…” these kids (not just at this university but plenty of others across the U.S.) endured racism and a hostile environment while their school’s president and higher officials didn’t protect them, ignored their complaints and ignored their safety. Why would we need to listen to racists? This is NOT a time to listen to the other side, these children are VICTIMS and we should stand with them in SOLIDARITY and UNDERSTANDING. These issues did not come from the void or from their perception but from a reality. Mr. President needs to listen himself instead of spitting the same P.C. rhetoric speech because he is afraid to rock the boat and call a spade a spade. I am so tired when black people are victimize by racism the go to respond is one of an olive branch and to be the “non angry good Negro” when we have every right to be angry by our mistreatment because we continued to get our needs ignored and overlooked while these racists get cuddled.

    • [email protected]

      Exactly Sister.

  • CoolChic

    This is just…. sad.