Libertarian presidential nominee Gary JohnsonGary Earl JohnsonPotential GOP primary challenger: Trump's 'contempt for the American people' behind possible bid The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Trump escalates border fight with emergency declaration Former Mass. governor takes step toward Trump primary challenge MORE says the Black Lives Matter movement has alerted him to the struggles facing minorities.

“My head’s been in the sand on this,” he said Wednesday during a CNN town hall hosted by Anderson Cooper. "That’s what it’s done for me."


“We’ve all had our heads in the sand,” the former GOP governor of New Mexico added. "Let’s wake up. This discrimination does exist, and it has existed. For me personally, slap, slap, wake up.”

Former Gov. Bill Weld (R-Mass.), Johnson's running mate, said he sees a federal role in improving the lives of America’s young black males.

“I think we have a national emergency in the number of male black youths who are without jobs,” he said. "Their educational opportunities are not there.

“It’s a national emergency, and when there’s a national emergency, the government has to respond."

Johnson and Weld were explaining their views on Black Lives Matter to a mother wounded in last month’s sniper attack on police officers in Dallas.

Five police officers were killed and nine more were wounded on July 7 when a gunman opened fire during a Black Lives Matter protest there.

Gunman Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, was killed during the incident when police detonated a bomb with a robot.

Johnson has repeatedly said he can win the White House due to public satisfaction with the Democratic and GOP presidential nominees.

Democrat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDe Blasio pitches himself as tough New Yorker who can take on 'Don the con' From dive bars to steakhouses: How Iowa caucus staffers blow off steam Warren policy ideas show signs of paying off MORE leads Republican Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons' Rocket attack hits Baghdad's Green Zone amid escalating tensions: reports Buttigieg on Trump tweets: 'I don't care' MORE and by about 5 points nationwide, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average of polls. Johnson registers 8.1 percent support.