Barack Obama Lectures World on Racial, Wealth Inequality in South Africa

  • Barack Obama Lectures World on Racial, Wealth Inequality in South Africa

Barack Obama Lectures World on Racial, Wealth Inequality in South Africa

During a press conference with Putin following a summit between the two, Trump refused to back the US intelligence community's assessment that Russian hackers had interfered in the 2016 presidential election, leading many to view Trump as kowtowing to Putin.

"In the west you've got far-right parties that oftentimes are based on platforms of protectionism and closed borders and barely hidden racial nationalism", 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".

This a direct rebuke of the notion that only people who are oppressed for some reason-because of their race, gender, sexuality, disability status, size, etc. -should be allowed to speak on issues relating to said difficulties. "We see it in the utter loss of shame in political leaders - where they utter a lie and then just double down and lie some more".

Guests have started arriving at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg for the 16th annual Nelson Mandela Lecture.

Former President Barack Obama gave his first major speech since leaving office on Tuesday, calling today's times "strange and uncertain" and urging people to bring back the values of "equality, dignity and kindness". "If I say this is a podium, and you say this is an elephant, it's going to be hard for us to cooperate".

Without mentioning Trump by name, Obama said that we "are living in odd and uncertain times".

Barack Obama

"Democracy depends on strong institutions and it's about minority rights, checks and balances, freedom of speech, freedom of express and a free press".

Obama, who scripted history by becoming the first black President of the United States in 2009, has long shown a fascination with Gandhi. "It should make us hopeful".

"And I believe that a world governed by such principles is possible and that it can achieve more peace and more cooperation in pursuits of a common good". This year's theme is titled "Renewing the Mandela Legacy & Promoting Active Citizenship in a Changing World", more than 4,000 people are expected to attend.

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa and Graca Machel, Mandela's widow, introduced Obama to a cricket stadium full of an estimated 14,000 people and even more who tuned into the lecture online.

The former president used the speech as an opportunity to outline what he views as troubling trends in the political arena at present.

The speech in honour of Mandela, who died in 2013 aged 95, comes a day after Trump was widely condemned for comments he made during a joint press conference with Putin.

Imprisoned for almost three decades for his fight against state-sanctioned racial segregation, he was freed in 1990 and quickly set about working to unite the nation through forgiveness and reconciliation, becoming South Africa's first black president.