How to Watch, Livestream Barack Obama Speak on George Floyd Protests for First Time

Former President Barack Obama will deliver his first on-camera comments regarding the death of George Floyd, and the protests that have followed, in a town hall on Wednesday called "Reimagining Policing in the Wake of Continued Police Violence."

Obama is slated to speak as a part of the My Brother's Keeper (MBK) alliance town hall series at 5 p.m. ET, according to a press release. Viewers can watch on the Obama Foundation's website, Obama.org.

The former president is expected to make brief remarks to start, followed by a panel discussion/town hall format. He will be joined by former Attorney General Eric Holder, Color of Change executive director Rashad Robinson, Campaign Zero co-founder and former member of President Obama's 21st Century Policing Task Force Brittany Packnett Cunningham, Minneapolis City Council Member Phillipe Cunningham, and MBK Columbus, Ohio, youth leader Playon Patrick.

While this is the first on-camera address from the former president regarding Floyd's death, Obama has shared thoughts on Floyd's death online via a statement shared on social media and a lengthy piece posted to Medium.

My statement on the death of George Floyd: pic.twitter.com/Hg1k9JHT6R

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) May 29, 2020

"[W]e have to remember that for millions of Americans, being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly 'normal'—whether it's while dealing with the health care system, or interacting with the criminal justice system, or jogging down the street, or just watching birds in the park," Obama wrote in a statement on May 29. "This shouldn't be 'normal' in 2020 America. It can't be 'normal' If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must be better."

He concluded that statement by calling on Americans to work toward creating a "new normal" where "the legacy of bigotry and unequal treatment no longer infects our institutions or our hearts."

On Monday, Obama shared a piece on Medium titled "How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change." In the piece, Obama wrote that the majority of protesters deserve "respect and support," as they have been "peaceful, courageous, responsible, and inspiring." He also criticized protesters who have become violent.

"[T]he small minority of folks who've resorted to violence in various forms, whether out of genuine anger or mere opportunism, are putting innocent people at risk, compounding the destruction of neighborhoods that are often already short on services and investment and detracting from the larger cause," Obama wrote. "If history is any guide, that store may take years to come back. So let's not excuse violence, or rationalize it, or participate in it. If we want our criminal justice system, and American society at large, to operate on a higher ethical code, then we have to model that code ourselves."

Obama also said that those looking to make real change must be sure to vote for the changes they wish to see and know which officials in both local and state elections, aside from just national elections, can implement change. "So the bottom line is this: if we want to bring about real change, then the choice isn't between protest and politics. We have to do both. We have to mobilize to raise awareness, and we have to organize and cast our ballots to make sure that we elect candidates who will act on reform," he wrote.

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Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to guests at the Obama Foundation Summit on the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology on October 29, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. The Summit is an annual event hosted by the Obama Foundation. Scott Olson/Getty