Obama: "Sense Of Unfairness And Powerlessness Has Contributed To Dysfunction In Communities"

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In Camden, New Jersey on Monday, President Obama gave a speech on youth and police after meeting with various law enforcement and community groups.

The president praised the "overwhelming majority of police, officers" who are good, honest and fair. The president also said we cannot ask the police to control problems the rest of us are unwilling to face.

However, President Obama said the sense of "unfairness and powerlessness" has contributed to "dysfunction" and "unrest."

"In some communities, that sense of unfairness and powerlessness has contributed to dysfunction in those communities," Obama said.

"When communities aren't vibrant, where people don't feel a sense of hope and opportunity, then a lot of times that can fuel crime and that can fuel unrest," the president also said.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: You have rural communities that have chronic poverty. You have manufacturing communities that got hit hard when plants closed and people lost jobs. There are not only cities but also suburbs where jobs can be tough to find and tougher to get to because of development patterns and lack of transportation options. And folks who do work, they're working harder than ever but sometimes don't feel like they can get ahead. And in some communities, that sense of unfairness and powerlessness has contributed to dysfunction in those communities.

You know, communities are like bodies. If the immunity system is down, they can get sick. And when communities aren't vibrant, where people don't feel a sense of hope and opportunity, then a lot of times that can fuel crime and that can fuel unrest. We've seen it in places like Baltimore and Ferguson and New York. And it has many causes from a basic lack of opportunity to some groups feeling unfairly targeted by their police forces. And that means there's no single solution. There have to be a lot of different solutions and different approaches that we try.

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