Barack Obama

Obama Just Held 'Marathon' Meeting With Police Chiefs, Black Activists, Local Leaders

Obama with Mick McHale, President of the National Association of Police Organizations. Image via Pete Souza / White House

Thirty-three people filed into a White House conference room on July 13 for a meeting with President Obama on race and policing, and at times, it got tense,The Washington Post reports.

Based on the seating arrangements, that’s probably not a surprise — activists sat between police chiefs and mayors, the head of the Fraternal Order of Police sat between the NAACP president and a Harvard professor. But eventually, it paid off.

Dallas Memorial Service Features Two Presidents and Discussion of Race in America

Image via Filip Fuxa / Shutterstock.com

President Obama delivered a lengthy address in Dallas in honor of the five police officers who died in the shooting that occurred in the city last week.

He was joined onstage at the memorial service by President George W. Bush, a resident of Dallas.

“Today the nation grieves,” Bush said, in his relatively short and mostly apolitical speech. “But those of us who love Dallas and call it home have had five deaths in the family.”

After a Painful Week for Police and Protesters, Obama Says America Is United

Image via REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/RNS

President Obama strove to convey a message of solace and unity in the wake of an extraordinary week that rubbed raw issues of police safety and racial bias in policing, saying he believes Americans will come together to find common ground.

“As painful as the week has been, I fully believe that America is not as divided as people have suggested,” he said. People of all races and backgrounds are outraged by the killing of police officers in Dallas — even those protesting the police, he said. And the same people are angered by the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.

Faith, Fear, and Courage

 Pla2na / Shutterstock
 Pla2na / Shutterstock

WHEN IT IS prayer time, Rami Nashashibi prays. His Muslim faith is the core of his life and work, inspiring the two decades of advocacy he has done on behalf of the poor and marginalized on the South Side of Chicago.

But when prayer time arrived on an unseasonably warm day in December, Nashashibi paused. It was just days after the terrible terrorist attack in San Bernardino, where extremists calling themselves Muslims murdered 14 people and injured many more. Nashashibi was in his neighborhood park with his three kids, and he found himself suddenly struck by fear at the thought of praying in public and therefore being openly identified as Muslim at a time when so many equated that term with terrorist.

That neighborhood park happened to be Marquette Park. Fifty years earlier another man of faith stood not far from where Nashashibi was standing, and he too felt fear. That man was Martin Luther King Jr. He had come to Chicago in 1966 to raise awareness about discriminatory housing practices on the South Side. His march through Marquette Park was met with racist sneers and vigilante violence. A brick thrown his way actually hit him in the head and brought him to his knees.

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Religious Voices Respond to State of the Union

President Obama SOTU
U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his final State of the Union address in Washington Jan. 12. REUTERS/Evan Vucci/Pool.
 

In his last State of the Union address, President Obama made an impassioned case against religious bigotry and cast other key issues in moral terms.

He rejected “any politics that targets people because of race or religion.”

“This is not a matter of political correctness,” he said. “This is a matter of understanding just what it is that 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 every faith.”

Trump Ties Pope Francis As Second ‘Most Admired,’ Behind Obama

Donald Trump / Pope Francis
(left) Donald Trump at the CNN Republican debate Dec. 15 in Las Vegas. Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com. (right) Pope Francis celebrates Mass on June 21 in Turin, Italy. miqu77 / Shutterstock.com

Americans’ most admired man and woman in the world are — once again — President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

But the shocker in the Gallup Poll’s Most Admired List released Monday may be the No. 2 spot in the survey, where Donald Trump tied Pope Francis in the year the pontiff visited this country for the first time.

Jim Wallis Denounces Federal Court Decision Against Obama Immigration Plan

Jim Wallis has denounced a recent federal court decision that prevents, for now, the implementation of President Barack Obama's immigration reform agenda.

A three judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 on Monday against a federal program that would have granted an estimated 5 million undocumented immigrants legal status.

Wallis, who is the founder and president of the Evangelical social justice group Sojourners, said in a statement Tuesday that the panel majority "put politics over people."

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