June 5th, 2007
05:53 PM ET
12 years ago

Obama: 'Quiet riot' could erupt like L.A. riots

ATLANTA (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama said Tuesday that there is a "quiet riot" happening every day across America which could erupt like the riots in Los Angeles 15 years ago.

Speaking to several thousand people at Hampton University in Virginia, Obama said: "Those 'quiet riots' are born from the same place as the fires and the destruction and the police decked out in riot gear and the deaths. They happen when a sense of disconnect settles in and hope dissipates.

"Despair takes hold and young people all across the country look at the way the world is and believe that things are never going to get better."

The largely African-American audience of clergy interrupted Obama's speech with several ovations.

Obama criticized the Bush administration for neglecting New Orleans before, during and long after Hurricane Katrina.

"This administration was colorblind in its incompetence" responding to the disaster, Obama said. But the poverty was there long before.

"All the hurricane did was make bare what we ignore each and every day," Obama said. "All the hurricane did was pull back the screen."

Obama again condemned the Iraq war and also spoke about the need to raise the minimum wage and teachers' pay.

–CNN Political Assignment Editor Marissa Muller

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Race to '08
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Tim, Groton Vermont

    All too true, I just hope things manage to become fixed before we see our countrymen erupt like that.

    June 5, 2007 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  2. Lavelle, Rochester,ny

    I just hope people really start to listen to Obama.He's talking about bringing this country together. democrats,republicans,black,white,hispanic,jews,etc...he's talking about the dream of Dr.King and i really dont see anything wrong with that. He's gathered a lot of support from both sides while proving that; yeah this is politics however we are still people. As this race move on and candidates drop along the way people will see more to Obama and what he can do for this country. Hillary may have the lead now but I dont see her maintaining it. She's hanging on her husbands coat tail, and i think that will back fire.

    June 5, 2007 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  3. Lavelle, rochester,ny

    please stop trying to create a huge story and twist his words as if he’s looking for another “LA riot” Its funny when editors find one line and make it into a mountain of an issue. Headline his agenda’s and vision for this country not one line analogies come on!

    June 5, 2007 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  4. Chris, Fort Eustis, VA

    The Administration neglected New Orleans before the hurricane? I believe that is why they have a state government, a governor and a mayor. How is it the administrations fault that the state and local governments didn't do their jobs to begin with?

    June 5, 2007 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  5. Karen Ridgefield, CT

    Is anyone talking about the completely false accusation Obama made by mentioning Andersson Cooper's journalism/coverage of NOLA? What was that all about?? I still can't wrap my head around that comment, I'm so glad Anderson addressed in on 360 last night, very tactfully...as usual.

    June 7, 2007 10:11 am at 10:11 am |