President Obama told us that he would speak out if he thought things were being done to threaten our core values. And he’s now keeping his word.
On Friday, Donald Trump signed an Executive Order that has caused chaos and major backlash worldwide. The order bans refugees from entering the U.S. for 120 days, bans Syrian refugees indefinitely, and bans people from seven predominantly Muslim countries for 90 days.
The seven countries include Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. And the order also bans green card holders from these countries from re-entering the United States.
Because of the ban, people all across the country have taken to the streets and airports to protest. Major American companies have also joined in this fight.
And for those of you who’ve been waiting for Obama to speak out about this mess, your wait is over.
On Monday, President Obama’s office put out his first major statement since leaving office.
Kevin Lewis, Obama’s spokesman, said,
“President Obama is heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country. In his final official speech as President, he spoke about the important role of citizen and how all Americans have a responsibility to be the guardians of our democracy–not just during an election but every day.”
Further encouraging the protesters he added,
“Citizens exercising their Constitutional right to assemble, organize and have their voices heard by their elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake.”
After seeing all of the protests and backlash because of his travel ban, Trump tried to defend himself by blaming Obama. Trump is trying to compare his actions to what Obama did in 2011. Obama stopped people entering from Iraq for six months after two Iraqis were arrested in Kentucky on terrorism charges.
Obama’s spokesman spoke to this comparison.
“With regard to comparisons to President Obama’s foreign policy decisions, as we’ve heard before, the President fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion.”
Right before leaving the White House, Obama said,
“As an American citizen who cares deeply about our country, if there are issues that have less to do with the specifics of some legislative proposal or battle, but go to core questions about our values and our ideals, and if I think that it’s necessary or helpful for me to defend those ideals, then I’ll examine it when it comes.”
President Obama told us that he would speak out if he thought things were being done to threaten our core values. It’s unprecedented for a former President to speak out against a current President, especially this soon. But Trump is not a normal President. And these are not normal times.