WASHINGTON (AP) — Calling for understanding in the face of racially charged anger, President Barack Obama said Monday that the vast majority of protesters in a St. Louis suburb were peaceful, but warned that a small minority was undermining justice for the unarmed black man shot and killed by police.

During a brief pause in his summer vacation, Obama expressed sympathy for the “passions and anger” sparked by the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, but said giving in to that anger through looting and attacks on police only stirs tensions and leads to further chaos. He said overcoming the mistrust endemic between many communities and their local police would require Americans to “listen and not just shout.”

“That’s how we’re going to move forward together, by trying to unite each other and understand each other and not simply divide ourselves from one another,” Obama told reporters at the White House.

Obama said Attorney General Eric Holder would travel to Ferguson this week to meet with FBI and other officials carrying out an independent federal investigation into Brown’s death. He said he also had told Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon he wanted to ensure the use the National Guard in help calm tensions in Ferguson must be limited in scope, and said he would be monitoring that operation in the coming days to see whether the guard’s involvement was helping or hurting.

Obama also weighed in for the first time publicly on the militarization of some local police departments, saying it probably would be useful to examine how federal grant dollars had been used to allow local police to purchase military-style equipment, an issue that’s come to the forefront amid the violent protests in Ferguson. Obama said the distinction between the military and domestic law enforcement was one of the great things about America.

Appearing in the White House briefing room in a dress shirt but no tie, Obama also spoke for the first time to the racial tensions and grievances perceived by African-Americans in Ferguson. In previous comments about the situation, Obama had avoided talking directly about race, wary of rushing to judgment or further inflaming the situation.

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8 thoughts on “Obama Addresses Nation, Holder Heading To Ferguson

  1. Timekeeper on said:

    Please be advised. Stories like the one unfolding with Michael Brown undoubtedly brings out the worst in certain people. As the BET website has gained attention right wing groups troll this site for one reason. To say the most despicable things they can think of. These trolls under the disguise of anonymity feel emboldened to spew their hatred in secret. Like the weakling bigots they’ve always been this is their perfect avenue to get this hatred off their chest. However, it will never get out of their spirit. As Jesus once said
    “it is not what goes into a man that defiles him, but what comes out of him” The evil spirit in some can never be exorcised form a few words on a blog. Only God can change that. So don’t bother to respond in kind to the beneath contempt from which these people and their statements come from. Like Trayvon Martin, Renisha McBride and others, racists, and others who think they know a little bit more than somebody else likes to bring their bouji attitudes and take these opportunities to comfort one another in their unholy matrimony of futile existence. Some of them actually get paid by right wing think tanks to patrol minority websites so they can see and hear what is being said. Their express purpose is to distort, divide and confuse the issues. With the same Nixon like paranoia they want to wire tap, OR, in this case blog tap what people are saying. Others do it simply because of their deep rooted racism they’ve learned since kindergarten while they ate their cheerios at the kitchen table and listened to mom and dad blame every minority they could think of for their lack of success. It would be funny, if it weren’t so tragic. So when you see these racist posts ( And I am certain you will) don’t respond. Let it go and give it ( and them) to GOD. He can handle the situation better than any of us can. “for his judgment cometh, and right soon”

  2. The small group that is causing problems are brought in by St. Louis County. It’s retaliation for them protesting and bringing in a black man over St. Louis County

  3. This is news to me that Michael Brown attacked a cop!

    It is also irrelevant. That POS cop had no right to shot this unarmed young man six times or more-with several shots to the back.

    The first thing that AG Holder must do when he arrives in Ferguson is to convene a grand jury and have this cop charged with MURDER!!!!

    These cops all over this country need to understand that they have no right killing our young men of color just because they wear a badge and a gun!– Cops take an oath to “protect and serve”–NOT SHOOT AND KILL!!!—-

    Frito Bandito Valdez–YOU NEED TO STFU!!!!!

  4. Sharon Jones on said:

    What “American Dream”, Mr. Superior? We are all in this together. The President, isn’t worried about the hyped popularity numbers that you are referencing. You are out of touch (delusional). Get used to it. He is bi-racial. A part of us all. GOD, makes NO MISTAKES!

  5. ambientbake on said:

    Perhaps Brown’s death will serve to show other black men that they cannot, and should not, attack a police officer (or anyone for that manner – can you say Trayvon ?) or they may risk being shot.

    Owebama’s comments are shocking – it almost sounds like he is anti-police. Holder will do nothing, but fan the racial flames like Crazy Al Sharpton does.

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