Barack Obama final speech to press: Hope America will elect more racially diverse leaders

By: | Published: January 19, 2017 9:55 AM

Pitching for racial diversity in the US, outgoing President Barack Obama has hoped to see a woman, a Hindu, a Jewish or a Latino president in the future, asserting that deserving people rising up from race and faith define America's strength.

 

In 2008, Obama created history after being elected as the first black president of the United States in a landslide victory. He was re-elected for second term in 2012. (Reuters)In 2008, Obama created history after being elected as the first black president of the United States in a landslide victory. He was re-elected for second term in 2012. (Reuters)

Pitching for racial diversity in the US, outgoing President Barack Obama has hoped to see a woman, a Hindu, a Jewish or a Latino president in the future, asserting that deserving people rising up from race and faith define America’s strength.

“If, in fact, we continue to keep the opportunity open to everybody, then yes, we’re going to have a woman president, we’re going to have a Latino president, and we’ll have a Jewish president, a Hindu president,” Obama told mediapersons yesterday at a crowded White House in his final press conference as the President of the United States.

“Who knows who we’re going to have. I suspect we’ll have a whole bunch of mixed-up presidents at some point that nobody really knows what to call them. And that’s fine,” he said in an apparent reference to the racial, ethnic and religious mix of people in America.

He was responding to a question if he expects another black president.

In 2008, Obama created history after being elected as the first black president of the United States in a landslide victory. He was re-elected for second term in 2012.

Obama will be succeeded by Donald Trump of the Republican Party at the inauguration tomorrow.

“I think we’re going to see people of merit rise up from every race, faith, corner of this country, because that’s America’s strength. When we have everybody getting a chance and everybody is on the field, we end up being better,” Obama said.

“I think I’ve used this analogy before. We killed it in the Olympics in Brazil. And Michelle and I, we always have the Olympic team here. And it’s a lot of fun, first of all, just because anytime you’re meeting somebody who is the best at anything, it’s impressive,” he said.

“But they are of all shapes, sizes, colors, the genetic diversity that is on display is remarkable. And if you look at a Simone Biles, and then you look at a Michael Phelps, they’re completely different. And it’s precisely because of those differences that we’ve got people here who can excel at any sport,” he added.

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Referring to the fact that more than half of American medals at Olympics came from women, Obama said the reason is because the US had the foresight several decades ago, with something called Title 9, to make sure that women get opportunities in sports.

This is why women compete better, because they have more opportunities than folks in other countries, he said.

However, Obama said he worries about inequality because he thinks that if the country is not investing in making sure everybody plays a role in this economy, the economy will not grow as fast.

“I think it will also lead to further and further separation between us as Americans, not just along racial lines,” he said.

“There are a whole bunch of folks who voted for the President-elect because they feel forgotten and disenfranchised. They feel as if they’re being looked down on. They feel as if their kids aren’t going to have the same opportunities as they did,” he said.

Obama said that the people don’t want to have an America in which a very small sliver of people are doing really well and everybody else is fighting for scraps.

“Because that’s often times when racial divisions get magnified, because people think, well, the only way I’m going to get ahead is if I make sure somebody else gets less, somebody who doesn’t look like me or doesn’t worship at the same place I do. That’s not a good recipe for our democracy,” he said.

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