A day after marking his 58th birthday on Sunday, former President Barack Obama has issued a statement on behalf of himself and wife Michelle reacting to last weekend’s two mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.
After sharing that he and the former first lady are grieving for the victims of Saturday and Sunday’s attacks — with the death toll now totaling 31 people — Obama wasted little time in denouncing both “gun violence” in the U.S. as well as the “racist ideologies” espoused by many domestic terrorists, including, according to early reports, the shooter who killed 22 people at an El Paso Walmart.
Obama also had strong words for the politicians who block gun reform and enable or even foment racist thinking.
“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,” he wrote, though he stopped short of naming any one specific person.
The former POTUS’s message quickly gained support from his admirers. Among those expressing agreement were actors Mark Hamill and Yvette Nicole Brown, both of whom hailed Obama as “my president.”
Remember what sanity was like? https://t.co/Qiwg8HbNAp— kristen johnston (@thekjohnston) August 5, 2019
You’ll always be my President, sir. https://t.co/qb2cHt4i6P— Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) August 5, 2019
Obama also got props from a man hoping to follow in his footsteps: Democratic presidential candidate and El Paso native Beto O’Rourke, who recently lashed out against Donald Trump for “inciting racism and violence.”
Obama’s statement comes just a day after stars like Barbra Streisand and D.L. Hughley sent him birthday wishes alluding to the week’s deadly events.
“I miss you so much, my eyelashes hurt,” tweeted Ellen DeGeneres.
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