Former President Barack Obama received some social media backlash when he appeared to criticize the “defund the police” and suggest the policy point may have lost Democrats congressional seats. Obama is now responding to critics.
On Tuesday, Dec. 15, Obama appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah to further explain his comments.
“There were two or three writers who I admire, who wrote, ‘Obama's making it a mission to chastise Black Lives Matter.’”
He continued with a smile, “What? Hold on a second, I just spent the whole summer complimenting them. What are you talking about? The reason it caught attention, I suspect, there were some in the Democratic party who suggested the reason we didn't do better in the congressional elections this time was because of this praise. I think that people assumed that somehow I was making an argument that that's why we didn't get a bigger Democratic majority -- that actually was not the point I was making.”
As an example, he explained that “defund the police” may not resonate well with his mother-in-law Marian Shields Robinson, who might say, “If I'm getting robbed, who am I going to call? “
Obama added the issue is not to make “white people more comfortable” but “can we be precise with our language enough that people who might be persuaded around that particular issue to make a particular change that gets a particular result that we want, what's the best way for us to describe that?”
According to Bloomberg, “defund the police” and the demand for police accountability actually galvanized Black voters in cities like Milwaukee, Detroit, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Pittsburgh.
Watch Obama’s interview with Trevor Noah below: