Former US President Barack Obama speech at the late Nelson Mandela's 100th birthday.at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Tuesday, July 17, 2018-Thejemimahshow.com

EX-PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA CELEBRATES LIFE AND LEGACY OF NELSON MANDELA

In An Emotional Address Marking The 100th Anniversary Of Anti-Apartheid Leader Nelson Mandela’s Birth Former President Barack Obama Celebrated Nelson Mandela’s Life And Legacy In South Africa On Tuesday, With A Speech That Focused Not Only On The Freedom Mandela Came To Symbolize But The Long Walk It Took To Get There.

“We Have To Follow Madiba’s Example Of Persistence And Hope,” Obama Said, Using Mandela’s Clan Name. “It’s Tempting Right Now To Give In To Pessimism. To Believe That Recent Shifts In Global Politics Are Too Powerful To Push Back. Just As People Spoke About The Triumph Of Democracy In The 90s, Now You’re Hearing People Talk About The End Of Democracy And The Triumph Of Tribalism And The Strong Man. We Have To Resist That Pessimism. Because We’ve Been Through Darker Times.

Obama’s Speech To A Cheering Crowd Of Thousands In South Africa Countered Many Of Trump’s Policies, Rallying People Around The World To Keep Alive The Ideas That Mandela Worked For Including Democracy, Diversity And Tolerance.

Former US President Barack Obama speech at the late Nelson Mandela's 100th birthday.at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Tuesday, July 17, 2018-Thejemimahshow.com

Obama Opened By Calling Today’s Times “Strange And Uncertain,” Adding That “Each Day’s News Cycle Is Bringing More Head-Spinning And Disturbing Headlines.” These Days “We See Much Of The World Threatening To Return To A More Dangerous, More Brutal, Way Of Doing Business,” He Said.

He Targeted Politicians Pushing “Politics Of Fear, Resentment, Retrenchment,” Saying They Are On The Move “At A Pace Unimaginable Just A Few Years Ago.”

He Attacked “Strongman Politics,” Saying That “Those In Power Seek To Undermine Every Institution … That Gives Democracy Meaning.

It Was One Of Obama’s Most High-Profile Appearances Since Leaving The White House 18 Months Ago And A Preview Of What Could Be An Active Campaign Schedule For The Former President Before The Midterm Elections This Fall.

Obama Spoke To A Crowd Of About 15,000 In A Johannesburg Cricket Stadium On The Eve Of What Would Have Been Mandela’s 100th Birthday. He Remarked On The Progress That Swept The Globe During Mandela’s Lifetime — With Greater Prosperity And Opportunity — But Also That Backlash That Followed In Recent Years, In The Wake Of Inequality And Insecurity.

Former US President Barack Obama speech at the late Nelson Mandela's 100th birthday.at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Tuesday, July 17, 2018-Thejemimahshow.com

A Politics Of Fear And Resentment And Retrenchment Began To Appear And That Kind Of Politics Is Now On The Move,” Obama Said. “It Is In Part Because Of The Failures Of Governments And Powerful Elites To Squarely Address The Shortcomings And Contradictions Of This International Order That We Now See Much Of The World Threatening To Return To An Older, A More Dangerous, A More Brutal Way Of Doing Business.

 

Obama Disputed That Progressives Need To Push Back Against Those Trends By Emphasizing More Inclusive Opportunity And International Cooperation.

 

“We Have A Better Story To Tell,” He Said. “But To Say That Our Vision For The Future Is Better Is Not To Say That It Will Inevitably Win. Because History Also Shows The Power Of Fear.”

Obama Has Generally Kept A Low Profile Since Leaving Office And Has Avoided Criticizing His Successor Directly. But On Rare Occasions, The Former President Has Spoken Up In Defense Of Inclusive Democratic Values.

Last Year, Obama Told A Large Crowd Near The Brandenburg Gate In Germany That In A Modern, Interconnected World, “We Can’t Isolate Ourselves. We Can’t Hide Behind A Wall.

Former US President Barack Obama speech at the late Nelson Mandela's 100th birthday.at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Tuesday, July 17, 2018-Thejemimahshow.com

 

It Was An Unspoken Reproach Of President Trump’s America First Policies, Delivered At A Moment When Trump Was Scolding Nato Allies For What He Saw As Inadequate Defense Spending  Something Trump Did Again Last Week.

Obama Also Defended The Global Economic Order, Saying It Had Delivered Unparalleled Peace And Prosperity. But He Acknowledged That Order Was Under Attack.

“It Has To Be Continually Renewed, Because There Is A Competing Narrative Of Fear And Xenophobia And Nationalism And Intolerance,” Obama Said. “We Have To Push Back Against Those Trends.”

 

Last Week, Trump Told Reporters In The U.K. That Immigration Is Changing The Culture Of Europe In A Negative Way.

“I Know It’s Politically Not Necessarily Correct To Say That, But I’ll Say It And I’ll Say It Loud,” Trump Said.

 

Former US President Barack Obama speech at the late Nelson Mandela's 100th birthday.at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Tuesday, July 17, 2018-Thejemimahshow.com

Obama’s Evaluations Of Trump And His Party Are Likely To Grow More Frequent This Fall, When The Former President Is Expected To Campaign Actively For Democratic House And Senate Candidates.

This Was Obama’s First Visit To Africa Since Leaving Office In Early 2017. He Stopped Earlier This Week In Kenya, Where He Visited The Rural Birthplace Of His Late Father.

Obama’s Speech Noted How Mandela, Who Was Imprisoned For 27 Years, Kept Up His Campaign Against What Appeared To Be Insurmountable Odds To End Apartheid, South Africa’s Harsh System Of White Minority Rule.

Mandela, Who Was Released From Prison In 1990 And Became South Africa’s First Black President Four Years Later, Died In 2013, Leaving A Powerful Legacy Of Reconciliation And Diversity Along With A Resistance To Inequality, Economic And Otherwise.

Former US President Barack Obama speech at the late Nelson Mandela's 100th birthday.at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Tuesday, July 17, 2018-Thejemimahshow.com

Until Tuesday, Obama Had Shied Away From Public Comment On Trump, Whose Administration Has Reversed Or Attacked Notable Achievements Of His Predecessor. The U.S. Under Trump Has Withdrawn From The 2015 Paris Climate Agreement And The Iran Nuclear Deal While Trying To Undercut The Affordable Care Act Or Obamacare.

Obama’s Speech Drew On His Great Admiration For Mandela, A Fellow Nobel Peace Prize Winner Whom America’s First Black President Saw As A Mentor.

When Obama Was A U.S. Senator He Had His Picture Taken With Mandela. After Obama Became President He Sent A Copy Of The Photo To Mandela, Who Kept It In His Office. Obama Also Made A Point Of Visiting Mandela’s Prison Cell And Gave A Moving Tribute At Mandela’s Memorial Service In 2013, Saying The South African Leader’s Life Had Inspired Him.

Many South Africans View Obama As A Successor To Mandela Because Of His Groundbreaking Role And His Support For Racial Equality In The U.S. And Around The World.

 

Former US President Barack Obama speech at the late Nelson Mandela's 100th birthday.at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Tuesday, July 17, 2018-Thejemimahshow.com

Former U.S. President Barack Obama Is Set To Make His Highest-Profile Speech Since Leaving Office, Urging People Around The World To Respect Human Rights And Other Values Under Threat In An Address Marking The 100th Anniversary Of Anti-Apartheid Leader Nelson Mandela’s Birth.

 

But Obama Is Also Looking Beyond The United States And The Next Election.

When He Traveled As President, Obama Often Made It A Point To Meet With Young People Who Might Form The Next Generation Of Leaders, And He’ll Do So Again This Week In South Africa. He’s Hosting A Town Hall In Johannesburg On Wednesday For 200 Rising African Leaders.

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