The former President Barack Obama released a statement just yesterday on refusing “language coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders” that “normalizes racist sentiments.”
The statement did not outwardly name President Donald Trump and it comes after two mass shootings in the US in just 13 hours — one of which involved a white supremacist suspect.
“We should soundly reject language coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders that feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalizes racist sentiments; leaders who demonize those who don’t look like us, or suggest that other people, including immigrants, threaten our way of life, or refer to other people as sub-human, or imply that America belongs to just one certain type of people,” Obama said.
“It’s time for the overwhelming majority of Americans of goodwill, of every race and faith and political party, to say as much — clearly and unequivocally,” he continued.
While it is rare for modern presidents to refute their successors actions and words, it is not the first time former President Obama has made his feelings about Trump known.
Obama has criticized Trump when the president decided to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA, and after Trumpmade his first travel ban executive order.
And while as of late Obama has not made any comments despite Trump’s racist comments regarding four Democratic congresswomen and the city of Baltimore, mass shootings are an issue that Obama has been shaken by.
The day of the Sandy Hook shooting was the worst day of his presidency according to Obama, adding that Washington did not respond in a meaningful way.
Obama’s recent stance on Trump comes after a shooter opened fire on Saturday at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. The gunman killed 22 people. The 21-year-old white supremacist is currently in custody in the Texas domestic case.
Hours later, a shooter then fired at a bar in Dayton, Ohio, murdering nine people. Police killed the shooter and a motive is yet to be known.
Obama added to his statement:
“We are not helpless here. And until all of us stand up and insist on holding public officials accountable for changing our gun laws, these tragedies will keep happening.”
In a tweet on Monday, Trump suggested tying immigration legislation to strengthening background checks, despite the shooter in El Paso, Texas, written a racist, anti-immigrant document targeting Hispanics.
Trump did not reveal in his tweets on Monday if he supported a gun control bill that passed the House with bipartisan support back in February that requires universal background checks. It has yet to be considered by the Senate.
In a address that was televised on late Monday, Trump encouraged America to “condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy” but did not acknowledge his own racist rheotric.
In addition, there was no mention of background check legislation or tying gun action with immigration.
Both Texas natives as well as Democratic presidential candidates Beto O’Rourke and Julián Castro thanked Obama from his statement via Twitter, saying:
“Moral clarity from our last moral president,” Castro posted. “Thank you, Mr. President.”
When Obama was president, he took executive actions on gun control, which included an expansion on background checks.
“At least let’s figure it out. Let’s try some things,” Obama shared at a CNN townhall back in 2016. “All of us can agree that it makes sense to do everything we can to keep guns out of the hands of people who would do others harm, or themselves harm.”