Obama: Mizzou Student Protests ‘Entirely Appropriate’

‘Without knowing all the facts I’ve read enough to know that there is clearly a problem’

STEPHANOPOULOS: “You spoke out, you protested apartheid in South Africa. If you were on the campus of University of Missouri today, would you be a protestor?”
OBAMA: “Without knowing all the facts I’ve read enough to know that there is clearly a problem at— the University of Missouri. And, that’s not just coming from students. That’s coming from some faculty. And I think it is entirely appropriate for students in a thoughtful, peaceful way to protest— what they see as injustices or inattention to serious problems in their midst. I want— an activist student body just like I want an activist citizenry. And— the issue is just making sure that— even as these young people are getting engaged, getting involved, speaking out— that they’re also listening. And, you know I’d rather see them err on the side of activism than being passive. I think that what you saw with the University of Missouri football team, and the coach, you know, standing up for something that they think is right— harkens back to a powerful tradition that helped to bring about great change in this country. But I also want to make sure that they understand that being a good citizen being an activist involves hearing the other side—“
STEPHANOPOULOS: “See, that’s what I wanted to ask you.”
OBAMA: “—and making sure that you are engaging in a dialogue, because that’s also how change happens. The civil rights movement happened because there was civil disobedience, because people were willing to get to go to jail, because there were events like Bloody Sunday. But it was also because the leadership of the movement consistently stayed open to the possibility of reconciliation and sought to understand the views even views that were appalling to them of the other side.”

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