President Barack Obama shared how “deeply disturbed” he was about the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile during a press conference on Thursday (July 7).
In a lengthy Facebook post, the president extended his condolences to the families of Sterling and Castile, while laying down statistics that show the racial disparities between police engagement with the black/latino community. “This isn’t a matter of us comparing the value of lives. This is recognizing that there’s a particular burden that is being placed on a group … and we should care about that,” he said. Many have called on the president to address the shootings that have been widely shared on social media.
Sterling’s shooting was caught on camera, while the aftermath of Castile’s shooting was broadcasted in real time on Facebook’s live stream. After his arrival in Warsaw, Poland ahead of a NATO summit, he took things a step further by explaining the widely used phrase, “Black Lives Matter.”
“When people say “Black Lives Matter,” it doesn’t mean blue lives [or] all lives don’t matter, but right now the big concern is the fact that the data shows black folks are more vulnerable to these kinds of incidents,” he said. “This isn’t a matter of us comparing a value of lives. This is recognizing there is a particular burden being placed on a group of our fellow citizens. We should care about that. We can’t dismiss it.”
Check out his updated statement in the video below.