A crowd of about 15,000 people in Johannesburg, South Africa, stood at attention as the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, honored the life of Nelson Mandela on Tuesday, July 17. The speech was to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Mandela's birth, July 18, 1918. 

Obama's speech was entitled, "Renewing the Mandela Legacy and Promoting Active Citizenship in a Changing World." 

"We have to follow Madiba's example of persistence and hope," Obama said according to NPR. "It's tempting right now to give in to cynicism. To believe that recent shifts in global politics are too powerful to push back. That the pendulum has swung permanently. Just as people spoke about the triumph of democracy in the '90s, now you're hearing people talk about the end of democracy and the triumph of tribalism and the strongman. We have to resist that cynicism because we've been through darker times."

"Madiba" is Mandela's clan name used to refer to the late leader as an expression of affection and respect. 

Photo: GIPHY

In what appeared to be full shade toward President Donald Trump and his highly-criticized press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Obama also spoke on living in a post-truth, fake news world.

"People just make stuff up. They just make stuff up," he remarked. "We see it in the growth of state sponsored propaganda. We see it in internet fabrications. We see it in the blurring of lines between news and entertainment. We see the utter loss of shame among political leaders where they're caught in a lie and they just double down and they lie some more. It used to be that if you caught them lying, they'd be like, oh man — now they just keep on lying."

That last part was a hit with the audience, still reeling from former South African president Jacob Zuma's fall from grace, and the audience laughed in response, CNN reports. 

Photo: GIPHY

As he did in Kenya, Obama also spoke about the dangers of divisive politics.

"A politics of fear and resentment and retrenchment began to appear, and that kind of politics is now on the move," Obama continued. "It is in part because of the failures of governments and powerful elites to squarely address the shortcomings and contradictions of this international order that we now see much of the world threatening to return to an older, a more dangerous, a more brutal way of doing business."

Ultimately, Obama urged progressives to strive for international teamwork and inclusiveness. 

"We have a better story to tell," said Obama. "But to say that our vision for the future is better is not to say that it will inevitably win. Because history also shows the power of fear."

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