President Obama defended the "Black Lives Matter" movement on Oct. 21, and explained what the counter-rallying cry "All Lives Matter" gets wrong (video below).
Obama made his comments during a criminal justice forum put on by The Marshall Project at the White House, reports Vox.com.
Obama recalled that "Black Lives Matter" began after some publicized deaths of African-Americans, and added:
[The "Black Lives Matter" movement] started being lifted up as "these folks are opposed to police, they're opposed to cops, and all lives matter."
So the notion was somehow saying black lives matter was reverse racism or suggesting that other people's lives didn't matter or police officers' lives didn't matter.
"So let me just suggest this: I think everybody understands all lives matter," Obama added.
He went on to say that everyone wants their kids to be safe and no one wants to see police officers get hurt.
Obama also stated:
I think the reason that the organizers used the phrase "Black Lives Matter" was not because they were suggesting nobody else's lives matters.
Rather, what they were suggesting was there is a specific problem that is happening in the African-American community that's not happening in other communities. And that is a legitimate issue that we've got to address.
Obama later reminded the audience that the "African-American community is not just making this up. It's not just something being politicized. It's real, and there's a history behind it. And we have to take it seriously."
Obama said that "Black Lives Matter" activists have to take seriously the tough job that police have.
Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky told Fox News in August that "Black Lives Matter" should change its name to "All Lives Matter" or "Innocent Lives Matter," noted Buzzfeed.
GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush defended the phrase "All Lives matter" in July, reported ABC News.
Republican front-runner Donald Trump said that "All Lives Matter" should be the theme of the country during an interview with Fox News in September, according to the Washington Times.