Editorial: Obama’s words of peace
by The Anniston Star Editorial Board
Dec 10, 2013 | 1316 views |  0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
President Barrack Obama speaks at the memorial service for former South African president Nelson Mandela at the FNB Stadium in Soweto near Johannesburg, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013. Photo: Matt Dunham/The Associated Press
President Barrack Obama speaks at the memorial service for former South African president Nelson Mandela at the FNB Stadium in Soweto near Johannesburg, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013. Photo: Matt Dunham/The Associated Press
slideshow
The world will be a better place if President Barack Obama’s words Tuesday made those in power feel stings of criticism.

It’s rare for a single speech to be a harbinger of change; Obama’s remarks at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service in Johannesburg aren’t likely to be that renowned. Nevertheless, the president wisely used his pulpit to preach Mandela’s legacy to world leaders both in attendance and at home.

“We, too, must act on behalf of justice,” the president said. “We, too, must act on behalf of peace. There are too many of us who happily embrace Madiba’s legacy of racial reconciliation, but passionately resist even modest reforms that would challenge chronic poverty and growing inequality.”

On this, the president is spot-on correct: the modern world, though rich in technological and scientific advances, still has vast pockets of deep, dehumanizing poverty, entire nations in some cases. Leaders who do not use their influence to lessen that gap — to feed the hungry, to clothe and house the poor, to educate the ignorant — fail at an irrevocable task.

Examples exist across the globe, from North Korea to Russia, from Cuba to many South American nations, from China to the United States, where politicians in Washington and in statehouses such as ours in Montgomery too often let ideology stunt their humanity.

Poverty and inequality aren’t limited to those on the fringes of democratic ideals.

In recent years, researchers have shown how the income gap in the United States has grown since the onset of the Great Recession. America’s middle class has taken gut punches, yes, but in most cases it’s nothing like the plight of the poor — in our cities, in our rural counties, in our small towns.

Though he wasn’t, Obama could have been talking to our Congress or our state Legislature.

We hold scant hope that leaders such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping or North Korea’s Kim Jong-un will be swayed by the president’s Johannesburg speech. Their politics are too entrenched in repression to be so easily altered. But Obama’s words nonetheless resonate: We must act on behalf of peace.
Comments must be made through Facebook
No personal attacks
No name-calling
No offensive language
Comments must stay on topic
No infringement of copyrighted material


Friends to Follow



Most Recommended

Editorial: Obama’s words of peace by The Anniston Star Editorial Board

Today's Events

event calendar

post a new event

Monday, April 21, 2014

Marketplace