Obama invokes Mahatma Gandhi in major speech in South Africa

Angelo Anderson
July 18, 2018

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. But he added that it is "right for the U.S.to insist on reciprocity" when it comes to countries that are no longer poor, like China, suggesting the US should tell China to "stop taking intellectual property and stop hacking our servers".

"At the current moment we're in, values that we thought were well-established - the importance of human rights, respect for diversity - in many parts of the world those values are under threat", Rhodes told The Associated Press.

"More and more not only are we seeing concentrations of wealth, we are seeing concentrations of talent in various global centers, whether it is Shanghai or Dubai", said Obama, who is on his first visit to Africa since leaving office in January 2017.

Warning against creeping populism and "strongman politics", he made the case for liberal democracy, saying that he believed it offered the better future for humanity. He also criticized what he called the "utter loss of shame among political leaders, where they're caught in a lie and they just double down and lie some more".

Obama, delivering his first big speech since leaving office, stressed the impact that Mandela made in the lives of people that lived far away from South Africa. I believe in Nelson Mandela's vision, I believe in a vision shared by (Mahatma) Gandhi and (Martin Luther) King, and Abraham Lincoln, I believe in a vision of equality and justice and freedom and multi-racial democracy built on a pretense that all people are created equal and are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights.

"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".

The former United States leader called on the crowd of 14,000 to remember Mandela's vision, "built on the premise that all people are created equal".


"We've been through darker times", he said.

"Keep believing. Keep marching". Every generation has opportunity to remake the world...

To loud cheers, he called on young people listening to him to get "fired up".

"It's not just money a job provides", Obama added.

Beginning his speech at the 2018 Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in Johannesburg, South Africa, Obama said we are in "strange and uncertain times" with "head-spinning and disturbing headlines".

Mandela led the fight against white minority rule in South Africa. "So we're gonna have to consider new ways of thinking about these problems, like a universal income".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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