US President Barack Obama addressed problems of minorities and reasons for weeklong protests in Baltimore in a speech in New York City on Monday.
“Sense of unfairness and of powerlessness, of people not hearing their voices, that’s helped fuel some of the protests that we’ve seen in places like Baltimore, and Ferguson, and right here in New York,” Obama said.
In the last wave of protests against police brutality in the US, people took it to the streets in Baltimore last week after the death of a 25-year-old black man after suffering spinal injuries while in police custody.
Killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and death of another black man, Eric Garner, after a police chokehold had caused nationwide protests earlier.
“In too many places in this country, black boys and black men, Latino boys, Latino men, they experience being treated differently by law enforcement -- in stops and in arrests, and in charges and incarcerations,” Obama said.
“Ferguson’s police and municipal court practices both reflect and exacerbate existing racial bias, including racial stereotypes,” a US department of Justice report said in March after examining the working of law enforcement officials in Ferguson, Missouri.
Speaking at launching event of My Brother's Keeper Alliance, a non-profit organisation aiming to increase opportunities for young minority men, Obama drew attention to difficulties that minorities face in life in the US.
“In every community in America, there are young people with incredible drive and talent, and they just don't have the same kinds of chances that somebody like me had,” Obama said.
My Brother's Keeper Alliance received commitment of donations totalling to $80 million from companies such as American Express Co., PepsiCo. and News Corp to help the impoverished young people.
Obama said he also will continue to work for the cause when his term as president comes to end.