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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

President Obama Talks Modern Civil Rights on BET — Says “We Have Made Progress”

President Obama's BET Interview With Jeff Johnson

Washington, DC — President Barack Obama recently did an exclusive interview on BET with journalist Jeff Johnson. During the segment entitled BET News Presents: A Conversation With President Barack Obama, which aired this past Monday, Obama addresses community concerns in regards to modern civil rights. He particularly address the calls for justice in regards to the recent deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, two unarmed Black men who were recently killed by white police officers.

During the interview, he discusses his strategy not only to investigate the various incidents, but also the ways in which he believes that the country can come together. He comments, “This is something that’s deeply rooted in our society, it’s deeply rooted in our history. But the two things that are going to allow us to solve it: No. 1 is the understanding that we have made progress. And so it’s important to recognize — as painful as these incidents are — we can’t equate what’s happening now to what was happening 50 years ago.”

Part of the interview reached young African Americans who watch “106 & Park,” the number one “music variety show on cable” among adults 18-49. The rest of the 20-minute interview was aired before a showing of “Nellyville” – a reality show starring rapper Nelly and his family.

So Why BET?

When asked asked why Obama chose BET, instead of other networks like VH-1 or even TV One, Obama’s press secretary Josh Earnest answered: “We have seen a lot of young people, particularly young of color, have been pretty outspoken in their concerns about the lack of trust that exists between many local communities and the local law enforcement officials in the community sworn to serve and protect them. The president wanted to communicate to them a few things. … The president wanted them to know the issues were legitimate to raise and are issues the president takes very seriously.”

Watch the interview below: