Former President Obama Criticizes Leftist Shutdown Culture - Hit & Run

Calvin Saunders
July 19, 2018

You can't do this if you just out of hand disregard what your opponent has to say from the start.

His speech will coincide with events to mark 100 years since the birth of former South Africa President Nelson Mandela, who died in 2013 aged 95.

Obama emphasised that globalisation was not going to go away, but - in a thinly veiled dig at current United States President Donald Trump - the only manner in which to address issues such as climate change and migration was through more global cooperation than less.

Obama has made relatively few public appearances since leaving the White House in 2017, but he has often credited Mandela for being one of the great inspirations in his life.

An estimated 14,000 people turned out in Johannesburg for the speech to hear Obama speak at Cricket stadium.

Tuesday's lecture was preceded by a panel discussion that featured former President Sirleaf, Kofi Annan and the former Foreign Affairs Minister of Algeria, Lakhdar Brahimi at the Obama Foundation gathering of young African leaders.

"A politics of fear and resentment and retrenchment began to appear and that kind of politics is now on the move", Obama said.

Obama praised the diversity of the World Cup champion French team, and he said that those countries engaging in xenophobia "eventually ... find themselves consumed by civil war".

He acknowledged that it would be easier to be cynical and say the new political force was too powerful to resist, but urged people to rather look to Madiba's vision and example of working "collectively" with others to make an impact.

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Obama said it was sad that new wealth has compounded inequalities, with the captains of industry growing increasingly detached from the people around them. I know, I promise.

"I can't find common ground if somebody says that climate change just isn't happening, when nearly all the world's scientists tell us it is", Obama continued.

Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini arrives to hear Obama delivering the 16th Nelson Mandela annual lecture.

Mr. Obama said there are "two different stories, two different narratives" that are battling for the "hearts and minds" of the world.

Trump had been expected by some observers to confront Putin over the issue after the US Department of Justice indicted 12 Russians, accused of hacking the Democrat's emails and computer networks to target Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. "Of young and old, of both men and women, of black and white", she said of both leaders.

Addressing a media briefing in Mthatha this morning prior to delivering the Mandela Memorial Lecture later in the afternoon as part of the Nelson Mandela Centenary celebrations this week, renowned African scholar Professor Patrick Lumumba, said South Africa now stood out to the rest of the world by ensuring that Zuma was made to answer for alleged crimes.

His comments are seen as thinly veiled criticism of the current United States administration's use of what has been described as "alternative facts".

When Obama was a US senator he had his picture taken with the newly freed Mandela. After his release, Mandela went on to lead the ANC to victory in the first democratic elections in 1994.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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