PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — After a week of violence in the United States, the White House responded to an online petition asking the federal government to label the Black Lives Matter movement as a “terror group,” CBS News reports.
“Terrorism is defined as ‘the use of violence and intimidation in pursuit of political aims,'” read the “We The People” petition, created July 6 on the White House website. “This definition is the same definition used to declare ISIS and other groups, as terrorist organizations.”READ MORE: Redistricting Commission Scales Back Original Plan For Counting Inmates
Black Lives Matter, the petition claimed, “earned this title due to its actions in Ferguson, Baltimore, and even at a Bernie Sanders rally, as well as all over the United States and Canada.” It asked the Pentagon to recognize the group as such “on the grounds of principle, integrity, morality, and safety.”
Because the online document received at least 100,000 signatures, the White House was automatically prompted to respond.Former Mylan Executive Pleads Guilty To Insider Trading, Preparing False Tax Return
The “We the People” team noted that “The White House plays no role in designating domestic terror organizations,” nor does the U.S. government “generate a list of domestic terror organizations.”
“[T]herefore,” the response read, “we are not able to address the formal request of your petition.”
The White House then went further: Acknowledging that it was a “difficult time” for the country — and that the debate remains a “charged” one — the statement additionally prompted petition signers to consider President Obama’s words calling for compassion towards the movement.
“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,” the president said last week, talking to a Washington, D.C. gathering of enforcement officials, civil rights leaders, elected officials and other activists on the issue of racial disparities in the criminal justice system. “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.”MORE NEWS: Pittsburgh Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster Visits Western Pennsylvania School For The Deaf, Learns Sign Language