Barack Obama Sort of Shows Up for a Minute

Barack Obama reacts as John Brennan briefs him on the details of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. on December 14, 2012 in Washington, D.C.
Image: via Getty

Barack Obama isn’t around much these days, having mostly traded in a visible post-presidency platform for Netflix deals. But on Monday, he made a rare public statement in the wake of the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, urging Americans to “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,” which couldn’t possibly be a pointed reference to anyone specific?

Obama released a lengthy statement on Twitter, calling out “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.” President Trump has, of course, done all these things pretty visibly, so I doubt there’s any question what this is is all about:

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Obama is not the president anymore, and it seems unlikely that any Americans who weren’t already loudly denouncing white supremacy will start to do it just because a former leader whose very election riled racists enough to make Donald Trump his replacement made a tweet saying they should.

He also failed to mention any specific steps Americans could take to mitigate mass shootings, like background checks or red flag laws, policies he could spend his time championing loudly now that he’s no longer running the country.

Still, it was nice to see him for a second.

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