On Thursday, President Obama met with many different faces of the Black Lives Matter movement as well as established civil rights leaders like Rev. Al Sharpton and Congressman John Lewis. During the conversation, POTUS admitted that the younger generation is way more effective than he was in his grassroots years.

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As The Guardian reports:

“They are much better organizers than I was when I was their age, and I am confident that they are going to take America to new heights,” Obama said of Brittany Packnett, DeRay Mckesson and other young protest leaders. “The degree of focus and seriousness and constructiveness” they show reminded him of older, existing civil rights organizations, he added.

At the White House, the group, including Brittany Packnett and DeRay McKesson, discussed criminal justice reform and ways to mend the tenuous relationship between cops and communities.

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McKesson said after the meeting that the group had “a robust conversation” that Obama allowed to overrun by 30 minutes. “The president was really candid today,” he said.

During the meeting, McKesson reportedly asked the outgoing president to think about issuing an executive order outlining new parameters for the use of police force and “require federal law enforcement officers to prioritize the preservation of life.” Obama said he’d talk to attorney general Loretta Lynch about the suggestion.

True to form however, not all leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement thought meeting with Obama was a good idea. The Guardian spoke to Aislinn Pulley, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Chicago, who declined attending the gathering, saying it “would only serve to legitimize the false narrative that the government is working to end police brutality and the institutional racism that fuels it.”


Contact the author at Hillary@jezebel.com.

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Image via Getty.