What President Obama Said About Alton Sterling & Philando Castile Is Heartbreaking As Usual

On Thursday afternoon, President Barack Obama responded to Alton Sterling and Philando Castile's deaths in a statement posted to Facebook. He began by expressing his condolences, and he assured the public that the Justice Department's civil rights division would be investigating Sterling's death. He wrote:

The remainder of Obama's statement was careful and measured, as he was hesitant to place blame on any institution. He insisted that the "vast majority" of police officers are in business to protect the public, yet he acknowledged that racial bias was a deeply rooted problem in American society. Instead of stirring controversy by addressing any officers, he criticized the criminal justice system as a whole and spoke of the challenges it continues to face:

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It's clear that during this heated moment in history, Obama's statement is an attempt at cooling off America. But how can Americans remain cool when people are dying systematically? Instead of suggesting ways the nation can solve this problem, Obama referred back to the Task Force on 21st Century Policing program he implemented two years ago. Given the recent shootings, as well as the numerous unarmed black men shot by police officers over the past two years, it's difficult to have faith in that program.

On one hand, Obama's efforts to avoid controversy are understandable, because he's expected to be the nation's rock. Instead of breaking people into factions or attributing a political spin to Sterling's and Castile's deaths, he's trying to inspire people to unite. He ended his statement this way:

In the past, the president has attempted to soften the approach of activist movements such as Black Lives Matter. Though there's reason to be angry, he told young people at a London town hall discussion in April that diplomacy is the most effective route. This mindset seems to have dictated his most recent statement.