President Obama Wednesday commemorated the 150th anniversary of abolishing slavery in the U.S., using the occasion to draw parallels to the current political furor over Muslim immigration and terrorism.
“We betray the efforts of the past if we fail to push back against bigotry in all its forms,” Mr. Obama told congressional leaders and other dignitaries in a ceremony at the Capitol. “Our freedom is bound up with the freedom of others, regardless of what they look like or where they come from or what their last name is or what faith they practice.”
In marking the anniversary of the 13th Amendment, the president didn’t call out Republican foes such as Donald Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who have criticized his plan to accept refugees from Syria and Iraq. He said America must not “let cynicism consume us and fear overwhelm us.”