Shared as part of his weekly address on Thursday (Nov. 24), Obama gave thanks to the service members and also reminded the nation of overlooked values during a sometimes monstrous presidential election.”As a country, we’ve just emerged from a noisy, passionate, and sometimes divisive campaign season,” Obama said. “After all, elections are often where we emphasize what sets us apart. We face off in a contest of ‘us’ versus ‘them.’ We focus on the candidate we support instead of some of the ideals we share … But a few short weeks later, Thanksgiving reminds us that no matter our differences, we are still one people, part of something bigger than ourselves.”
Obama continued with a sweet sentiment to those who built and created the country, reminding us all of their importance. “We honor all people from the first Americans to our newest arrivals who continue to shape our nation’s story, enrich our heritage, and give meaning to our founding values…as long as we stand up for each other, speak up for what is right and stay true to these ideals, then no one can ever take away our liberty,” he added. His words are somewhat reflective of the current rise in hate crimes against people of color, including Muslims who have been the target of Trump fans and members of white nationalists groups known popularly as the “alt-right.” President-elect Donald Trump has disavowed the group and gave a Thanksgiving message of his own on social media. It also carries an ode to Native Americans as protesters continue to call for the end of the Dakota Access oil pipeline.
Meanwhile, the president continued to call for unity by pointing towards the nations’ values. “Never doubt, that is what makes us American — not where we come from, what we look like, or what faith we practice, but the ideals to which we pledge our allegiance,” he said. “It’s about our capacity to live up to the creed as old as our founding: “E Pluribus Unum” – that out of many, we are one.”
Watch President Obama’s final Thanksgiving message below.