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President Obama released a statement on Friday in honor of the late Star Trek performer Leonard Nimoy, who passed away on Friday at age 83.

Long before being nerdy was cool, there was Leonard Nimoy. Leonard was a lifelong lover of the arts and humanities, a supporter of the sciences, generous with his talent and his time. And of course, Leonard was Spock. Cool, logical, big-eared and level-headed, the center of Star Trek’s optimistic, inclusive vision of humanity’s future.

I loved Spock.

In 2007, I had the chance to meet Leonard in person. It was only logical to greet him with the Vulcan salute, the universal sign for “Live long and prosper.” And after 83 years on this planet – and on his visits to many others – it’s clear Leonard Nimoy did just that. Michelle and I join his family, friends, and countless fans who miss him so dearly today.

Photo: Leonard Nimoy, who played the role of Spock in the original Star Trek television series, gestures on arrival for the Los Angeles premiere of the movie ‘Star Trek Into Darkness” in Hollywood, California on May 14, 2013. (AFP / Frederic J. Brown)

It is impossible to justify the violence, looting, arson and vandalism that took place in Minneapolis and other cities after the death of George Floyd at the hands of police. Smashing windows, torching buildings and plundering stores do nothing to improve police behavior or help the African American community. They amount to useless destruction.

Impossible to justify, yes. Impossible to understand? Not at all. Police have participated in a quiet riot against black people for generations.

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