On Tuesday night, President Obama delivered his eighth and final State of the Union address to congress. The president used the occasion to reflect on the triumphs of his presidency, and celebrate his achievements: The Affordable Care Act, the non-collapse of the economy, the historic climate deal agreement in Paris, and others.
He also spent some time discussing his hopes for the future, as he prepares to hand off the office to somebody else.
And he used his time to offer us guidance on how to deal with those people who, still, think that political correctness is just a way of curbing people's right to free speech. It's not. As Obama explains:
We need to reject any politics that targets people because of race or religion. This isn’t a matter of political correctness. It’s a matter of understanding what makes us strong. The world respects us not just for our arsenal; it respects us for our diversity and our openness and the way we respect everything.
And he cited someone else you may have heard of who agrees that speaking respectfully about each other is key:
His Holiness, Pope Francis, told this body from the very spot I stand tonight that “to imitate the hatred and violence of tyrants and murderers is the best way to take their place.” When politicians insult Muslims, when a mosque is vandalized, or a kid bullied, that doesn’t make us safer.
… and then he really brought it home:
That’s not telling it like it is. It’s just wrong. It diminishes us in the eyes of the world. It makes it harder to achieve our goals. And it betrays who we are as a country.
We hope you're listening, Mr. Trump.
Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.