*Remarks made by President Barack Obama during a press conference on Tuesday (April 28) apparently didn’t go over well with Baltimore City Councilman Carl Stokes.
The politician’s problem with the commander-in-chief stems from him calling those protesting the death of Freddie Gray by police “thugs.” When asked whether Obama was right in labeling the protestors as “thugs,” Stokes didn’t hide how offended he was over what he heard.
“No, of course it’s not the right word to call our children thugs. These are children who have been set aside, marginalized, who have not been engaged by us. No, we don’t have to call them thugs,” he told CNN’s Erin Burnett.
“So calling them thugs, just call them n*******, just call them n******. No, we don’t have to call them by names such as that. We don’t have to do that. That is exactly what we have set them to. … You wouldn’t call your child a thug if they should do something that would not be what you would expect them to do.”
Stokes’ reaction comes after Obama spoke on the unrest in Baltimore at the press conference. In his eyes, looting is not the same as protesting.
“There’s no excuse for the kind of violence that we saw yesterday. It is counterproductive. When individuals get crowbars and start prying open doors to loot, they’re not protesting, they’re not making a statement, they’re stealing,” Obama said while noting the disinterest Congress has displayed in investing in poor communities.
“I’m under no illusion that out of this Congress we’re going to get massive investments in urban communities.”
Regarding the protests, Stokes mentioned that what’s really happening is an effort by Baltimore residents to take back their city.
“I know that was a terrible scene we saw [Monday] night and a little bit on Saturday, but the greater majority – a few hundred people versus hundreds of thousands of residents in Baltimore city – have come out of their homes and said, ‘This is Baltimore. This is our Baltimore,’” he said. “And they’re showing just who we are and why we’re standing up for justice. Not only for Freddie Gray, but all of the Freddie Grays who have been killed and brutalized in Baltimore.”
To see Stokes’ interview, check out the video below: