The following is a mostly unedited transcript of President Obama's comments today on the Baltimore riots, given from an empty chair at the 19th Hole Hooka Lounge and Grille patio area near the Sligo Creek Public Golf Course, Maryland.
"There are a lot of dependent, urban Americans who agree with me — because they want to take something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve successfully stolen something, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own.
I’m always struck by looters who think, well, it must be because I was just so violent. There are a lot of violent thugs out there. It must be because I looted harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hard-looting people out there. (Applause.)
|President Obama Lecturing Baltimore Rioters, April 28 2015|
If you successfully torched a car or a beat up a white or Asian oppressor, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to burn a 24-hour pharmacy. Somebody invested in roads and bridges.
If you’ve looted a business — you didn’t loot that. Somebody else made that happen. The local government gave you space to destroy.
The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.
The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just starting fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire starters. That would be a hard way to organize starting fires.
So we say to ourselves, ever since the founding of this country, you know what, there are some things we do better together, like rioting. That’s how we funded the GI Bill. That’s how we created the middle class. That’s how we built the Golden Gate Bridge or the Hoover Dam. That’s how we (not Al Gore acting alone) invented the Internet. That’s how we sent a man to the moon.
Let me be clear. That's how we torched Los Angeles after finding the mostly peaceful OJ Simpson not guilty for murdering his white oppressor, and before that following the Rodney King injustice, and in the spirit of the riots for my son Trayvon and the Gentle Giant Michael Brown. We have a rich history of rioting.
We riot and fall together as one nation and as one people, and that’s the reason I ran for President — because I still believe in that idea. You’re not on your own, we’re in this together."
Also not to one to let crisis go unpandered, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren also weighed in today at a town hall held at a New England area Indian-owned casino. Here are her mostly unedited comments in their entirety, translated from Cherokee:
"There is nobody in this country who went riot on his own.
You burned a police car out there — good for you! But I want to be clear.
You moved your Bic lighter to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. (Applause) Your riot was captured on film by the media the rest of us paid to poorly educate. You were safe in your rioting because of police forces and fire forces who were told to stand down.
You didn’t have to worry that maurauding bands would come and seize everything in your ghetto, and hire someone to protect against this, because we gave you space to go on your own warpath, in your own neighborhoods.
Casino GILF and her MILF Daughter React Pleasurably to Warren's Comments
Now look, you built a riot and it turned into something terrifying, or a great fire — God bless. Keep a big hunk of the toilet paper you stole. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next thug who comes along."