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Obama was President obama speech to give the Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in Johannesburg, where he spoke to a large and enthusiastic crowd. Obama also touched on the problem of racism, the "politics of fear," and the threat posed by rising authoritarianism. Here is the full transcript of his address, as provided by the office of the former president: Let me begin by a correction — laughter — and a few confessions.
The correction is that I am a very good dancer. I just want to be clear about that. Michelle is a little better. Number one, I was not exactly invited to be here. I was born in Hawaii. I thought about the fact that my daughters think anything I tell them is a lecture.
Mvezo — I got it. After all, South Africa was then less than a decade removed from full British control. Already, laws were being codified to implement racial segregation and subjugation, the network of laws President obama speech would be known as apartheid.
And the inferiority of the black race, an indifference towards black culture and interests and aspirations, was a given.
And such a view of the world — that certain races, certain nations, certain groups were inherently superior, and that violence and coercion is the primary basis for governance, that the strong necessarily exploit the weak, that wealth is determined primarily by conquest — that view of the world was hardly confined to relations between Europe and Africa, or relations between whites and blacks.
Whites were happy to exploit other whites when they could. And by the way, blacks were often willing to exploit other blacks. And around the globe, the majority of people lived at subsistence levels, without a say in the politics or economic forces that determined their lives.
Often they were subject to the whims and cruelties of distant leaders. The average person saw no possibility of advancing from the circumstances of their birth. Women were almost uniformly subordinate to men. Privilege and status was rigidly bound by caste and color and ethnicity and religion.
And even in my own country, even in democracies like the United States, founded on a declaration that all men are created equal, racial segregation and systemic discrimination was the law in almost half the country and the norm throughout the rest of the country.
That was the world just years ago. There are people alive today who were alive in that world.
It is hard, then, to overstate the remarkable transformations that have taken place since that time. A second World War, even more terrible than the first, along with a cascade of liberation movements from Africa to Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, would finally bring an end to colonial rule.
More and more peoples, having witnessed the horrors of totalitarianism, the repeated mass slaughters of the 20th century, began to embrace a new vision for humanity, a new idea, one based not only on the principle of national self-determination, but also on the principles of democracy and rule of law and civil rights and the inherent dignity of every single individual.
In those nations with market-based economies, suddenly union movements developed; and health and safety and commercial regulations were instituted; and access to public education was expanded; and social welfare systems emerged, all with the aim of constraining the excesses of capitalism and enhancing its ability to provide opportunity not just to some but to all people.
And the result was unmatched economic growth and a growth of the middle class. And in my own country, the moral force of the civil rights movement not only overthrew Jim Crow laws but it opened up the floodgates for women and historically marginalized groups to reimagine themselves, to find their own voices, to make their own claims to full citizenship.
It was in service of this long walk towards freedom and justice and equal opportunity that Nelson Mandela devoted his life. At the outset, his struggle was particular to this place, to his homeland — a fight to end apartheid, a fight to ensure lasting political and social and economic equality for its disenfranchised non-white citizens.
But through his sacrifice and unwavering leadership and, perhaps most of all, through his moral example, Mandela and the movement he led would come to signify something larger. He came to embody the universal aspirations of dispossessed people all around the world, their hopes for a better life, the possibility of a moral transformation in the conduct of human affairs.
Do you remember that feeling? It seemed as if the forces of progress were on the march, that they were inexorable. And then as Madiba guided this nation through negotiation painstakingly, reconciliation, its first fair and free elections; as we all witnessed the grace and the generosity with which he embraced former enemies, the wisdom for him to step away from power once he felt his job was complete, we understood that — applause — we understood it was not just the subjugated, the oppressed who were being freed from the shackles of the past.
The subjugator was being offered a gift, being given a chance to see in a new way, being given a chance to participate in the work of building a better world. And during the last decades of the 20th century, the progressive, democratic vision that Nelson Mandela represented in many ways set the terms of international political debate.
Yes, there were still tragedies — bloody civil wars from the Balkans to the Congo. The march was on. A respect for human rights and the rule of law, enumerated in a declaration by the United Nations, became the guiding norm for the majority of nations, even in places where the reality fell far short of the ideal.
Even when those human rights were violated, those who violated human rights were on the defensive. Getty And with these geopolitical changes came sweeping economic changes.Barack Obama served as the 44th President of the United States from to Before his presidency, he served in the Illinois Senate (–) and the United States Senate (–)..
It was during his campaign for the United States Senate that he first made a speech that received nationwide attention; he gave the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention. and. Obama's speech is a particularly good example of a leader who is gifted in using the emotional channel, in an authentic manner.
Communicating on the emotional channel is a two-part process: first, a leader needs to speak about how he feels about his topic. Sep 11, · President Obama spoke Tuesday night at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, about the future of the U.S.
military engagement in Afghanistan. The . President Elect Barack Obama speaks to supports gathered in Grant Park in Chicago after learning of his victory in the presidential election. Melissa Quinn / October 20, In a speech before Miami Dade College students in Miami, Florida, on Thursday, President Barack Obama spoke about some of the successes of the Affordable Care Act, as well as what he would like to see for the future of his signature health care law.
Jul 28, · READ: President Obama's Speech At The Democratic Convention Read a transcript of President Obama's speech Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.