On Tuesday, President Barack Obama is scheduled to deliver the keynote speech at the Annual NAACP Convention, marking the second time he has spoken to the historic civil rights organization during his presidency.
Mr. Obama is expected to address criminal justice reform during his remarks. Roland Martin and the NewsOne Now panel discussed what the President should say to move the issue forward.
NewsOne Now panelist Cleo Manago, a behavioral health expert, said Pres. Obama should “finally connect the issue of racism and racist thinking to the criminal justice system.” Manago also highlighted the history of “imbalance” as it relates to the over incarceration and criminalization of African-Americans.
Manago added, “It would be nice if he actually addressed that in direct ways.”
Attorney Monique Pressley, Principal of Pressley Firm, PLLC said, “We need the nuts and bolts of what has to actually be done” to make systematic changes to America’s criminal justice system. Pressley also believes the need for police body cameras should be addressed by President Obama, as well as racial profiling recommendations that Congress can act on, and race sensitivity training.
“There is much that he should say and I think that he should put some meat in the message,” said Pressley.
Ray Baker of Ray Baker Media explained that Pres. Obama should speak to the issue from the standpoint “of those who are concerned with economic values” by discussing the “tons and tons of money if we can transition folks who are non-violent drug offenders out of the criminal justice system.” Baker also stated Mr. Obama should speak to the issue from the standpoint of those who are concerned with over policing — “the systematic and racist way that the criminal justice system approached African-Americans.”
“There is enough space in this one issue to galvanize and bring together so many different people,” said Baker.
Watch Roland Martin, Cleo Manago, Monique Pressley, and Ray Baker discuss what President Barack Obama should say to address the criminal justice crisis in America during his keynote address to the NAACP in the video clip above.
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