May 12th, 2015, 1pm

It was 27.8°C.

As riots and protests break out among the streets of Baltimore, many people, including President Obama, take firm action to alleviate the concerns of racial relations in the United States.

Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, said that the public has become more sensitive and aware of news topics concerning race and terrorism.

In a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, studies show that the unrest in Baltimore was the most closely followed news story—with a third of the United States population following the story. In comparison, about 20 percent followed the news of the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake.

“Well, what we’re seeing is we’re seeing that these events get a lot more national media attention than they had in the past,” Earnest said.

Since many Americans have been focusing their concerns towards race and terrorism issues, other concerns—such as the economy—have reduced significantly.

According to a Gallup poll that was conducted in March 2015, the percentage of Americans who worry about race relations rose from about 15 percent to almost 30 percent within a year.

There is ongoing debate in regards to the duties of law enforcement officials and their impact on the justice and safety of citizens around the United States.

“In many cases, you have men and women in uniform who on a daily basis are prepared to put their life on the line…At the same time there are also people who live in communities across the country that don’t feel that kind of trust and support from local law enforcement,” Earnest said.

Events such as Ferguson have instigated the conversations and inquiries of racism and police brutality in America.

On May 4, 2015, President Obama spoke to the public about such issues at the launch of My Brother’s Keeper Alliance.

“It’s been in pursuit of that one goal: creating opportunity for everybody,” President Obama said, “But what we’ve also understood for too long is that some communities have consistently had the odds stacked against them,” President Obama said.

According to the Pew Research Center, a recent national survey shows that two-thirds of whites say that people take advantage of situations to commit crimes while 50 percent of blacks say that poverty is a major cause of turmoil.

President Obama said that the sense of unfairness and powerlessness is what has helped fuel some of the protests in places such as Baltimore, Ferguson, and New York.

“And then we wait for the next outbreak or problem to flare up. And we go through the same pattern all over again. So that, in effect, we do nothing,” President Obama said.

Along with the launching of My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, President Obama also informed the public that a task force on community policing was put together. The task force is comprised of law enforcement and community activists to help rebuild trust within the communities.

Earnest said it is good news to see local law enforcement officials and political leaders in the communities collaborating in these efforts because it shows their understanding of the importance of building and facilitating trust.

President Obama said that taking such action and implementing strategies around America speaks to who we are as a nation and that equality of opportunity is not just seen as words on paper, rather something that is valued.

The federal government is challenging every community in the country to commit to these strategies to help all people succeed. Over 200 communities across the country have already started doing work and continue to be proactive by focusing on these major issues.

“Because we believe in the idea that no matter who you are, no matter what you look like, no matter where you come from, no matter what your circumstances were, if you work hard, if you take responsibility, then America is a place where you can make something of your lives,” President Obama said.

This news article was specifically used for a journalism class

David Wade said thanks.

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