We Shouldn't Label Everyone Concerned About Illegal Immigration As Racists, Says ... Barack Obama?

Former Pres. Obama speaks in Berlin, Germany - 4/6/19. Screen grab via the Obama Foundation.
Former Pres. Obama speaks in Berlin, Germany – 4/6/19. Screen grab via the Obama Foundation.

Never thought I’d see the day where I’d say this but former President Obama has been saying some things recently that make sense and I’m a bit perplexed about where this subtle but noticeable change is coming from. More speculation on that in a bit, but first…


Red State‘s Elizabeth Vaughn wrote a couple of days ago about a Berlin town hall where Obama issued a warning shot to Democrats on the dangers of moving too far and too rigidly to the left.

At that same town hall in Berlin, he made some comments about illegal immigration that Newsweek highlighted yesterday. In some ways he almost sounded like a Republican:

“If you’re going to have a coherent, cohesive society, then everybody has to have some agreed-upon rules. And there are going to have to be some accommodations that everybody makes. And that includes the people who are newcomers. The question is, are those fair?” Obama said.

“Should we want to encourage newcomers to learn the language of the country that they’re moving to? Of course,” he continued. “Does that mean that they can never use their own language? No, of course it doesn’t mean that, but it’s not racist to say, ‘Ah, if you’re going to be here then you should learn the language of the country that you just arrived at because we need to have some sort of common language in which all of us can work, and learn and understand each other.

“It gets more sensitive, obviously, around religious issues. That becomes more challenging, and I don’t have simple solutions to all of that,” the former president said. “But, I guess what I think we have to do in order to push back against…what are clearly racist motives of some… we can’t label everybody who is disturbed by immigration as a racist. “


Of course, Obama wouldn’t be Obama without throwing out accusations of racism against “some” not-named people even as he seeks to dissuade others of the notion that everyone who opposes illegal immigration has racist motivations.

Watch video of his remarks below:

As to why he’s suddenly sounding more centristy on illegal immigration? Elizabeth’s post from Sunday provided what might be a window into the rationale for why he’s shifting slightly to center field now:

And this comment may also be Obama’s subtle very subtle way of finally showing support for his former vice president.


Obama has remained relatively neutral except for expressing his strong admiration for candidate Beto O’Rourke in December. Vanity Fair reported that “Obamaworld insiders describe the former vice president as upset” over it.

For the last two years, Biden has maintained the top position in every poll that’s been taken. They may be trying to knock him off his perch.

I think those are fair points. Obama has a self-serving nature about him that was obvious long before he ran for president, even long before he ran for the Senate. I remember during his 2008 general election presidential campaign how at times he tried to come off as a moderate/centrist to win over middle of the road voters. That may be what’s a play here again – except this time around, his former veep could be the beneficiary of this type of approach.


In any event, there aren’t many Democrats willing to acknowledge that most people who want stronger border security are not motivated by race. Obama did, and for that he gets some props.

RELATED: On Sexual Misconduct Allegations Against Joe Biden, Where Is Barack Obama?

Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter.–


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