President Obama Town Hall

President Obama Holding Town Hall to Discuss Race, Gun Violence; Will Air Across Multiple Disney Media Networks

In the wake of recent shootings in our country, specifically those which claimed the lives of police officers and African-American civilians, President Obama and Disney Media Networks are teaming up to have an important discussion.

Moderated by ABC News’ David Muir and ESPN’s Jemele Hill, The President and the People: A National Conversation will be simulcast Thursday, July 14 (8/7c) on ABC, Freeform, ESPN, ABC News Digital, Freeform Digital, Watch ESPN, Watch ABC, ABC Radio and Yahoo, as well as on ABC News’ YouTube channel and Facebook page.

After the broadcast, the conversation will continue via digital live stream, hosted by ABC News’ Sunny Hostin and ESPN’s Lonnae O’Neal.


Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Sarah says:

    This will probably come across cold, but I hope my local Fox, CBS, and CW channels do not break into regular programming as well.

    • Sally McLinn says:

      I don’t know the purpose except to save Hillary’s election possibilities. This is overdone. It’s the media that’s fueling the rage, because the vast majority of Americans work side by side and live with people in peace.

      • Sarah says:

        I honestly don’t get it either. And like I said, I really hope my other 3 local broadcast channels do not break in for this. If they do, I will be mad, especially if it’s on Fox. If that makes me cold and a bad citizen I’m sorry.

        • Angela says:

          1. If it’s a townhall meeting, and if I understand the article right, this is going to air in place of whatever else originally airs at that time on those networks, instead of interrupting them. So you may well miss whatever you normally watch at that time either way.
          2. Yes, how dare the president interrupt people’s precious TV viewing time to talk about important, serious issues like gun violence and racial unrest. Who cares about the fact that we’re hearing about people shooting each other in the streets practically every other week now? We need to watch our deeply important summer programming, dagnabit!

          • Mary says:

            Perfectly said. All sides need to watch and come up with a solution that benefits all. I am so tired of me against them society. It is really sad that there is no compromise on both side of the fence. I for one don’t want to become immune to this type of behavior and many shouldn’t want it either. What ever happen to the saying agree to disagree.

      • Ben says:

        Overdone? This won’t be overdone until the US constitution changes – I say this as a foreigner, who looks at your country and does not understand why people continue to defend laws that are demonstrably leading to ridiculously significantly higher gun death rates per head. You have a problem with your culture, and it needs to change.

        This is not just about race, or about police conduct… it’s about a country that has a broken society who seem to believe guns keep them safe and that they ought to be some kind of fundamental human right and continues to refuse to wake up about it – that in the rest of the world guns are not a human right and that we are all safer because of it.

  2. Helena says:

    If all of the ‘Black Live Matters’ racists put as much energy into being exemplary citizens, we wouldn’t have a problem. Period. Continually digging up history to justify systemic failures within the African American community is very sad. Fredrick Douglas fought for freedom, MLK fought for civil rights, the ‘new’ generation of entitled ‘activists’ are fighting for ‘safe spaces’ and a piece of the pie that the have yet to earn. After other mass shootings in this country, the first question asked is aways — ‘How was he raised, where were his parents as he was becoming a more violent person, etc.. We know that this black killer was kicked out of the military for sexual misconduct. I’m wondering, why sent the media talking about HIM and HIS family! Have we become so politically correct, and filled with white guilt in this country that this monster is going to be held up as a hero to racist blacks? Yes, let’s ask questions. Let’s ask why African Americans are so behind the curve. Other minorities excel in this country, even those who don’t speak english and work 4 jobs! Why? Because they’re not dependent on a handout. They don’t make excuses. Let’s ask where all f the men went from the million man march. Lets ask why 70% of the children in African American communities are raised by single mothers. Let’s ask why black on black murder is the number one killer of young black men under the age of 30. Let’s stop finding excuses. I’m a black woman and I’m sickened by the majority of black Americans that I meet. I’ve never met such racist, self loathing people as those who find excuses and take no responsibility for their own contributions to black crime in America.

    • Joey says:

      I was going to respond seriously to this and then I was overwhelmed by your racism about 8 words in.

      • Joey – If you would’ve kept reading, you would’ve seen that this woman is actually black.

        • Joey says:

          Anyone can claim anything on the internet. I wouldn’t take her seriously for a minute. Even if it’s true, there is such a thing as self-loathing.

        • Tyanna says:

          Colorism (internal hate/prejudice against black people by black people)

          • Helena says:

            Tyanna — Does it make you feel better about yourself to say that? The reality is, most of the black people that I know (and many of my own extended family members) find comfort in blaming others for THEIR OWN failures in life. Unfortunately, those of us who grow and expand our outlooks on life, are considered ‘outsiders’. If a ‘black’ American doesn’t ‘relate’ to the systemic victim mentality that so many blacks trot around owning, then we’re not ‘black enough’. My skin may be black, but I bleed red. I will NOT identify myself by my skin color….if we should have learned anything from history, our color has been used to identify us as ‘less than’. In our more progressive era — it’s time to let it go. I’m an American, a proud American. Not a black American. Saying that has nothing to do with, as you put it, “internal hate”, but instead, a true love of one’s self and life’s possibilities beyond societies constraints.

    • AngelWasHere says:

      You sound self loathing yourself. I’m a black woman b/w with a very open mind, but wow.

      • AngelWasHere says:

        Talking about Helena b/w.

        • Why is it that whenever a black person doesn’t follow the BLM agenda, they are referred to as self-loathing or worse a race traitor like Wendy Williams was when she spoke out against Jesse Williams last week? Can’t black people have differing opinions on this issue?

          • Anna says:

            Sure they can. There were black people with differing opinions about the Civil Rights Movement, about desegregation of schools, about the building of HBCUs, about having the right to vote, etc. Everyone is completely entitled to their opinion, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t self-loathing.
            And Wendy Williams was called a race traitor because she was saying a whole lot of insanely ignorant stuff, like questioning the founding of HBCUs (because there was a time when Historically White colleges and universities wouldn’t admit students of color) and the existence of the NAACP (which was founded in 1909 “to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination”). She was labeled a race traitor because not only does she not know the history of the people of her race, but she also talked down to institutions that helped her as a black woman have the success that she has today.

    • I agree wholeheartedly with your comments. There is a huge lack of personal accountability across all races in the US as more and more people feel they are entitled to certain things. And no, I’m not an old crotchety man, but rather I’m 32. It’s interesting to also note that Latinos actually have the second highest population in the US, representing 16.7% and yet there are no Latino Lives Matter groups out there. They, like most other races (Asians among others), have mostly assimilated into the US society rather than trying to create their own society that keeps racism alive (BET channel, NAACP awards, BLM, etc.). The media loves to focus on the fact that black people make up roughly 13% of the population yet are killed by police in disproportionate numbers, however, they never mention that black people also commit a disproportionate amount of crime. In addition, blacks make up the majority of people on welfare, with whites coming in second at 39%. Of course, people will make the argument that both the US justice system and economic system are “rigged” against black people, however, how does that hold true when the number of Latinos for both committing crimes and on welfare are proportionate to their population? Is the conclusion that white people love Latinos and Asians and just hate black people? I’m not saying racism doesn’t exist throughout America, because it does. However, it’s time for people to step up in the black community and admit that they have issues that they need to fix and stop blaming everyone else (and history) for all of their problems. Final word: Racism is not as bad as politicians and the media make it out to be. Since it’s a controversial and passionate issue, the media gets higher ratings and websites get more clicks and thus they report more on it. Politicians on both sides use race as a tool to push their agendas forward. Democrats do it because they need the minority votes to win, while republicans use it is a scare tactic to get the white vote. We all need to work on our own issues, take accountability and make America a better place to live for our children rather than blaming other people for why our life isn’t what we want it to be.

      • Ben says:

        Relying on individuals to have personal accountability has been failed social policy for thousands of years. If we could do that we wouldn’t even need a ‘state’ or something like a police force.

    • Anne says:

      If you are indeed a black woman, which I highly highly doubt, I feel bad for your internalized racism. Black Lives Matter is not a racist movement.
      And this wouldn’t be happening if Blacks were “exemplary citizens”?? You know Philandro Castile was exactly that to a tee. He worked with children, was beloved by them, was an excellent member of his community, did community service and was well liked. He followed the law every day….yet a white cop STILL shot him dead while he sat, cooperating, in his vehicle with a child in the backseat. I’m sorry, what more could he have done to have been cooperating with the police????!??

      • Anne, this is the problem with this whole situation: we only saw a video of the aftermath of the shooting, not what took place prior to or the actual shooting. As disturbing as that video was, people need to chill and wait for all of the facts to come out before rushing to judgement (despite the fact that the media and many (liberal) politicians have already determined the cop to be guilty). As for BLM as a whole, the majority of the “victims” have been criminals who were killed while committing a crime or resisting arrest. Yet, BLM puts them on a pedestal and condemns the cops, rather than looking at the actual facts and circumstances of each shooting. BTW, I’m not saying that every shooting has been justified and that some racism doesn’t exist, but BLM is making it out to be worse than it is. Also, if Black Lives really did matter, then where were Jesse Jackson, BLM and all of their protestors last week when right here in MN, 2 days after the shooting incident of Philandro a black 2 yr old was shoot and killed while his 15 month old sibling was shot and wounded? We for sure know that these 2 children were innocent without question and yet since it doesn’t draw the same type of media attention, all groups, including our local politicians who were so quick to speak up in the Philandro shooting, were silent.

        • Mary says:

          But do you really ever get the full facts. What happened before the tape was going is a he said she said situation. You and many others automatically believe the Cops version, which I’m sorry is not always 100% accurate. We have many good trained Cops but sorry the frequency of these does question if one shouldn’t be trained or vetted more to see if they could be bias toward someone. I condone violence of any kind but if you truly understand BLM many of them do also. Yes we have extremist but the whole movement shouldn’t be judged by the few that are.

          • Mary says:

            To clarify “we” meant all groups of people not just members of BLM.

          • Bill says:

            That’s a silly statement about the video. If the cops had body cams but it only taped half of the confrontation liberals everywhere wild cry foul, yet a woman who posted videos smoking weed in a car with her four year tapes half a confrontation and all the white guilt liberals are up in arms and all F the police. Priorities people, since when did the left start to believe criminals over the good guys. How did that entire hands up don’t shoot lie work out? Idiots

          • Mary says:

            Wow, you really can justify being shot after being pulled over. My statement did not F the police but hate to inform you not all officers should be in that position. Funny it has happen that the body cam didn’t record “properly”. If you cannot see that there is a imbalance to some of these shootings then you are the one with the problem. I don’t believe this guy was a criminal he got pulled over for a broken tail light. Not something I think one should lose their life over. Difference of opinions does not make one an idiot maybe you should choose your words more effectively.

  3. Angela says:

    Could be an interesting discussion. Will check this out.

  4. I guess that means ABC’s Battlebots and Great Hits won’t be on this Thursday

  5. Gregory House says:

    It’s easier for Obama to buy a Glock than it is for him to get on television.

  6. Guest says:

    Yes there have always been issues with race but none so bad as when Obama got into office. Black lives matter. If someone started a campaign stating white lives matter they would be deemed racist. How about this people, ALL LIVES MATTER regardless if your black, white, purple or freaking rainbows colored. This has got to stop. And I’m sorry but black lives matter along with all of this media coverage plus people targeting white police officers is just fueling racism. My friends brother (who I have seen date a few Hispanic and black females) stated that all of this hate coming from the black community has yes unfortunately made him racist because of all the craziness. I am a white female who works in security and it is sooo sad that I now have to carry a t-shirt with me to put on when I go to public places (gasing up the car, grocery shopping etc.) because I fear for my life now because of the color of my skin and because I wear a police looking type uniform. It has to stop people!

    • Katherine215 says:

      Oh, please. Racists just became more vocal when a black man became president. It’s not like racism just appeared overnight because Obama took office. Are you going to blame him for everything?
      And let’s be clear – yes, all lives matter. The BLM movement isn’t saying ONLY, it’s saying a particular race is in crisis *right now* and needs everyone’s help and focus. It’s like the fire department focusing on the house that’s burning *right now* – it’s not that your house doesn’t matter, it’s just NOT ON FIRE. But hey, it’s all about you and making sure your whiteness remains the most important thing.

  7. Rob Horine says:

    Obama did this same thing about a year or two ago. He stocked it with his people (including Father Flagger) and any opposition had to submit questions and were only allowed to ask one ‘approved question’. He also dismissed a assault victim who saved her life by using a weapon.

    It was disgusting then, it’s disgusting now.

  8. JosiahBartlet4President says:

    A discussion is good, but action is better.

  9. MMD says:

    As someone who is not a resident of the United States I am watching your country implode and it makes me very sad. It seems that no matter what group it is, whether it be race, religion, politics, gun lovers or haters, gender, minority,healthcare, etc. people are simply digging in their heels on their positions and hell will freeze over before they will even accept any change let alone look at an opposing view. It appears like people will trample all over another’s rights if it impinges on their rights.

    I do not have any answers and do not know anyone who does. All I know is that it truly scares and upsets me to see what has become of a country that I have a lot of family in,have spent so many special occasions and holidays in, but would never visit in the current climate. Add to that the joke around the world that is Donald Trump who wouldn’t know a fact if he fell over it imho, and I am just sad. The entire world is a scary place and it gets scarier every single day!

    • MMD says:

      Sorry about my rant above. I’m just so tired of all the killing and heartache around the world and wish people could just get along.

  10. If ordinary people are going to go around carrying guns–which they shouldn’t but leave that aside for now–shouldn’t there be a procedure, standardized, nationally, then taught and recognized by all (like Miranda rights are) for letting law enforcement officers know that one who is stopped is carrying a firearm or other weapon? Shouldn’t there be some universally recognized thing people say to let a police officer, for instance, that there’s a legal gun or other weapon in the car, or on one’s person, and a universally accepted way for both the police and the citizen to safely acknowledge the weapon and know what to do next with it? So that when this universally known thing is NOT done, then officers would know to be concerned? It would take. Few years to implement but with advertising and the Internet it cd be taught fairly quickly I wd think.

    • Robert Hillsmant says:

      THere is a procedure taught in EVERY concealed carry class. Those taking the classes are taught to keep their hands on the steering wheel in plain sight and to inform the officer that they are carrying a concealed weapon and provide the officer with the location of the weapon. The officer will then determine how he wishes the person to proceed. If easily retrieved, the officer may instruct the person to keep the hands on the heel and turn so the officer cam take possession of the weapon and then ask the person for their ID and CCW permit. BTW re. The MN. shooting, the released dispatch tape does state that the officer thought the couple closely resembled the two suspects broadcast on their in car computer that had committed an armed robbery just a few hours earlier. As any cop would do he used a traffic ‘reason’ to tell the party why they were stopped. No LEO walks up to a at and says I pulled u over because I think u just committed an armed robbery. Re. LA. case the police were sent because of a report that the man had drawn his weapon and pointed it at another person. He fit the description and as we find out later, is a convicted felon who cannot possess a weapon of any kind. Much more evidence is still not released and is required to determine the true legitimacy of both incidents.

  11. Richard Johnston says:

    PLEASE listen to this. New gun laws will do nothing to the people doing drive-by shootings, etc. I live in a smallish Midwest town. We have shootings way too much. The problem isn’t with controlling guns; these people will find illegal guns anywhere. The problem is coming down on gangs and gang related activities. The city and county lawn enforcement are truly afraid of going after the gangs. Fifteen years ago 3 billion dollars came through our city to be distributed to Cleveland, Detroit, Cincinnati and Chicago. GO AFTER THE GANGS. They are not black, white, brown, or yellow. They are poor kids being recruited because they get a temporary feel good belonging to the gang! STOP GANG VIOLENCE> Not gun control!

  12. Brenda gach says:

    I do not agree of the police shooting in Dallas but the police need to be held accountable for their actions just like all other people that do not a blue uniform so of the shooting by police are racial and they just are just getting a it is justified which is basically saying it is ok for police to kill and get away with it it isnt just black people or people in blue that matters it is all people matter regardless of color or uniform if police wouldnot just shoot because they can they all have tasers that do help and we all know that police stick together and will lie for each other just like regular people i have mix kids i have been with my husband for 17 years and i have seen how he gets treated because of his color

  13. SKK says:

    I refused an invitation so I could stay home and watch BATTLEBOTS! And now THIS! Old-timers called this sort of thing…”beating a dead horse”! You are harping and harping and harping! Give it a REST!

    So when do I get to see BATTLEBOTS?!!!