Tags: Barack Obama | Law Enforcement | Media Bias | slogans | defund the police | reform | police

Obama: Snappy Slogans Like 'Defund the Police' Alienate

barack obama stands in front of a flag and speaks
Former President Barack Obama speaks during a drive-in campaign rally for Joe Biden on Oct. 31, 2020, in Detroit, Michigan. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 01 December 2020 08:22 PM

Former President Barack Obama says "snappy" slogans like "defund the police" should be avoided because they can alienate people.

"We take for granted that, if you want people to buy your sneakers, that you're going to market it to your audience, right?" he told Vanity Fair contributor Peter Hamby in an interview that will air Wednesday morning at 6 a.m. ET on Snapchat. "We take for granted that if a musician drops a record, that they're going to try to reach certain audiences by speaking to folks where they are. It's no different in terms of ideas, right?"

"So, if you believe, as I do, that we should be able to reform the criminal justice system so that it's not biased and treats everybody fairly, I guess you can use a snappy slogan, like 'defund the police,' but, you know, you lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you're actually going to get the changes you want done.

"But if you instead say, 'Hey, you know what? Let's reform the police department so that everybody's being treated fairly.' . . . You know, suddenly a whole bunch of folks who might not otherwise listen to you are listening to you. So, the key is deciding: Do you want to actually get something done, or do you want to feel good among the people you already agree with?" Obama added. 

The phrase, "defund the police" has been widely used in connection with the racial justice protests following the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes.

Obama is on a press tour to promote his memoir, "A Promised Land."

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Former President Barack Obama says "snappy" slogans like "defund the police" should be avoided because they can alienate people.
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2020-22-01
Tuesday, 01 December 2020 08:22 PM
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