Former President Barack Obama in an interview to air on Snapchat Wednesday said “snappy” slogans such as “defund the police” have become less effective of enacting meaningful police reform and have caused political candidates to “lost a big audience.”
“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,” Obama told Peter Hamby on his Snapchat political show “Good Luck America.”
“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.
Top Democrats have considered the derogatory phrase to be damaging, citing it as the top reason the Democratic Party have a slim House majority and lost heavily funded Senate races that were considered to be part of an apparent blue wave.
The former president also touched on the reason he believes his successor, President Trump gained huge support among young Black men this election cycle, citing men in general are drawn to those of macho style appeal.
“Well, look, I think men generally are more susceptible to public figures who act tough, you know, try to project sort of a stereotypical macho style. I don’t think Black men are immune to that any more than white or Hispanic men are. And as I mentioned, the other day when I was in a conversation with some folks, a lot of the values of popular culture are constantly extolling wealth, power, frankly greed, and not really thinking about other people because you’re so ruthless that you’re just looking out for yourself,” Obama said.
“African American popular culture is not immune to that. So if there are some in the hip-hop community who are, you know, constantly rapping about bling and depicting women in a certain way, and then they hear Donald Trump basically delivering the same version of it or another version of it, they might say, Hey, you know, what? That guy, you know, that’s what I want. That’s what I want to be. All of which is to say that the Black community, like every community, is complicated,” he added.