Tags: Barack Obama | Ferguson in Crisis | ISIS/Islamic State | Middle East | Rush Limbaugh | War on Terrorism | UN

Critics Blast Obama for Reference to Ferguson in UN Speech

By    |   Wednesday, 24 Sep 2014 06:08 PM

In President Barack Obama's address to the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, he brought up the recent tensions in Ferguson, Missouri.

Critics accused him of weakening America's moral authority by doing so.

In a 38-minute speech that focused on the need for the world to combat terrorist groups, Obama also acknowledged that the United States has its own "racial and ethnic tensions."

"I realize that America's critics will be quick to point out that at times we too have failed to live up to our ideals; that America has plenty of problems within our own borders," Obama said. "This is true.

"In a summer marked by instability in the Middle East and eastern Europe, I know the world also took notice of the small American city of Ferguson, Missouri — where a young man was killed, and a community was divided," he said.

"So, yes, we have our own racial and ethnic tensions. And like every country, we continually wrestle with how to reconcile the vast changes wrought by globalization and greater diversity with the traditions that we hold dear."

Story continues below video.



In Ferguson on Aug. 9, white police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, an unarmed black man, touching off weeks of protests, some of which turned violent in the overnight hours.

"We welcome the scrutiny of the world — because what you see in America is a country that has steadily worked to address our problems and make our union more perfect," Obama told the Assembly.

"America is not the same as it was 100 years ago, 50 years ago, or even a decade ago, because we fight for our ideals, and are willing to criticize ourselves when we fall short."

Richard Grenell, former spokesman for four U.S. ambassadors to the United Nations, blasted the comments.

"While humility and self-reflection are admirable leadership qualities, equating the burglary-turned-shooting death in Ferguson with ISIS killings and beheadings was a big mistake," Grenell wrote on FoxNews.com.

Grenell said that making the events of Ferguson morally equivalent to Islamic terrorism and Russia's annexation of Crimea gives diplomats from Arab countries and Russia an excuse to dismiss America's condemnation of their actions.

Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh also was critical of Obama's words.

"He's essentially saying, "Look, I'm gonna preach to you even though I don't have the moral authority. I don't have the moral authority because my own country sucks, but I'm still gonna tell you what I think we ought to do," Limbaugh said. "He just undercuts his own message."

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In President Barack Obama's address to the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, he brought up the recent tensions in Ferguson, Missouri. Critics accused him of weakening America's moral authority by doing so.
UN, speech, moral, authority
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2014-08-24
Wednesday, 24 Sep 2014 06:08 PM
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