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Urban League CEO: Violence is a ‘flash point’ signaling deeper, systemic problem

National Urban League CEO Marc Morial condemned the "cycle of violence that we see in this country," telling CNBC he believes it is worsening race relations in America.

The former New Orleans mayor joined CNBC's "Power Lunch" on Tuesday to discuss tensions following the deaths of African-Americans during confrontations with law enforcers and fatal retaliatory attacks on police.

"It's awful that some people have felt that they've had to retaliate by taking the lives of police officers," Morial said.

A protest in downtown Cleveland after a grand jury decided not to charge police in the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, March 30, 2016.
Michael Nigro | Pacific Press | LightRocket | Getty Images
A protest in downtown Cleveland after a grand jury decided not to charge police in the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, March 30, 2016.

He said the deaths of Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Michael Brown and other African-Americans by police and those of eight police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, point to a cycle of violence in America.

"To a great extent there's been no one really held accountable," Morial said, referring to the civilian deaths. "I think that's at the root of it."

He said the police killings of black people were a "flash point" that signals an underlying, systemic problem in America. He cited the lingering effects of the slower than expected economic recovery in the African-American community, such as a "tremendous loss of wealth [and] continuing high unemployment."

Morial said he believes that "the political environment in America has not facilitated a reasonable conversation about the challenges we face as a nation."

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