Barack Obama talked about the past, present and future onstage at the Obama Foundation Summit Monday. Along with discussing his experience as a community organizer, he spoke of the difficulties of writing a book (something his wife can relate to) and the future of the United States' progressive movement, NBC News reports.
In speaking about the problems the United States currently faces, the 44th president didn't mention his successor by name but suggested the temperament of the country's current leaders could use some work.
Real Clear Politics reports Obama threw some subtle shade at Trump by arguing American progress has slowed "because we are still confused, blind, shrouded with hate, anger, racism, mommy issues."
This line reportedly got a laugh and rapturous applause. The former president contrasted this style of leadership with his own, saying, "People call me Spock for a reason. I believe in reason and logic and all these enlightenment values."
Obama did admit the change he hopes to see would take time and asked activists and community leaders to practice patience, CBS Chicago reports. Societies, he said, are “complex, organic things that you don’t turn [like] switches. They evolve. They shift. They change.”
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the summit attracted about 1,000 international activists and community leaders, who all gathered in Chicago to hear the nation's first Black president speak. Obama called them the next generation of leaders and tasked them all with finding a way to bridge growing societal divides.
“As a community organizer, what I learned over time was that everybody had a story, and everybody’s story was sacred, that if we bother listening to each other, those stories merge and blend. We don’t feel like that now because we don’t listen to each other,” said Obama. “It’s very hard when you have entire industries built and designed to make people think they’re different, to set them against each other. My job now, as well as your job, is to wipe the windshield so people can see clearly.”
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