Nationwide — Over 140,000 people have signed an online petition at WhiteHouse.gov accusing the Black Lives Matter movement of being a terrorist group that uses “violence and intimidation in pursuit of political aims,” but the Obama administration has issued a statement saying that they will not recognize the movement as a terrorist organization.
The appeal, which was created on July 6th, compares the group’s movement to the self-described Islamic State. Within the appeal, they ask the Pentagon to maintain consistency when considering the definition of terrorism.But the White House issued a statement saying:
“The White House plays no role in designating domestic terror organizations. The U.S. government does not generate a list of domestic terror organizations, and therefore we are not able to address the formal request of your petition. We encourage you to engage with your community in the ongoing discussion of how we can better build trust and safety in our communities.”
The statement also includes a direct quote that President Obama made during a recent interview when he said:
“I know that there are some who have criticized even the phrase ‘black lives matter,’ as if the notion is, is that other lives don’t matter. And so you get ‘all lives matter’ or ‘blue lives matter.’ I understand the point they’re trying to make. I think it’s important for us to also understand that the phrase ‘black lives matter’ simply refers to the notion that there’s a specific vulnerability for African Americans that needs to be addressed. It’s not meant to suggest that other lives don’t matter. It’s to suggest that other folks aren’t experiencing this particular vulnerability.”
“And so we shouldn’t get too caught up in this notion that somehow people who are asking for fair treatment are somehow, automatically, anti-police, are trying to only look out for black lives as opposed to others. I think we have to be careful about playing that game, just because that’s not obviously what is intended.”
About the White House online petition platform
Via a platform called “We the People” (http://petitions.whitehouse.gov), the American public can petition the U.S. government to take action like never before – it’s a way for anybody, anywhere, to speak directly to the government and become an agent for change. Via the web site, a person or group can easily create an online petition, share it, and collect signatures. If they are able to gather 100,000 signature in 30 days, the Whie House will review the petition, make sure it gets in front of the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response.