- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 12, 2015

At a summit on poverty Tuesday, President Obama will discuss his belief that recent high-profile confrontations between police and blacks are often a result of a lack of economic opportunity.

“As the president has made clear, these issues are not new,” White House aide Jerry Abramson said in an email to supporters. “What we are witnessing in cities across America is not only about policing. This is also about opportunity.”

Mr. Obama will take part in a discussion at Georgetown University, which is holding a three-day Catholic-Evangelical leadership summit on poverty after a call from Pope Francis to focus on the issue.

After rioting in Baltimore last month in reaction to the death of a black man who was fatally injured in police custody, Mr. Obama said tensions between minority communities and police departments have been simmering for decades in the U.S.

“This is a slow-rolling crisis,” Mr. Obama said at the time. “This has been going on for a long time. This is not new, and we shouldn’t pretend it’s new.”

Mr. Abramson, the White House director of intergovernmental affairs and former mayor of Louisville, Kentucky, said Mr. Obama will talk at the summit about the need to provide more opportunities for urban children.

“Unfortunately, in America, too many young people are limited by the ZIP code into which they are born,” Mr. Abramson said. “The president doesn’t treat this conversation as one to be had only every few months surrounding the latest tragedy captured on camera and replayed on the news.”

The White House said Mr. Obama has worked since his first day in office to address these issues by rebuilding the economy, protecting civil rights, expanding college access, providing tax credits to working families and targeting more money to high-poverty neighborhoods.

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