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Obamas Ansprache nach Abschluss der Wahl vom 9.11.16

We’re not Democrats first. We're not Republicans first. We are Americans first. We’re patriots first.

THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. Yesterday, before votes were tallied, I shot a video that some of you may have seen in which I said to the American people: Regardless of which side you were on in the election, regardless of whether your candidate won or lost, the sun would come up in the morning.

And that is one bit of prognosticating that actually came true. The sun is up. And I know everybody had a long night. I did, as well. I had a chance to talk to President-elect Trump last night -- about 3:30 in the morning, I think it was -- to congratulate him on winning the election. And I had a chance to invite him to come to the White House tomorrow to talk about making sure that there is a successful transition between our presidencies.

Now, it is no secret that the President-elect and I have some pretty significant differences. But remember, eight years ago, President Bush and I had some pretty significant differences. But President Bush’s team could not have been more professional or more gracious in making sure we had a smooth transition so that we could hit the ground running. And one thing you realize quickly in this job is that the presidency, and the vice presidency, is bigger than any of us.

So I have instructed my team to follow the example that President Bush’s team set eight years ago, and work as hard as we can to make sure that this is a successful transition for the President-elect -- because we are now all rooting for his success in uniting and leading the country. The peaceful transition of power is one of the hallmarks of our democracy. And over the next few months, we are going to show that to the world.

I also had a chance last night to speak with Secretary Clinton, and I just had a chance to hear her remarks. I could not be prouder of her. She has lived an extraordinary life of public service. She was a great First Lady. She was an outstanding senator for the state of New York. And she could not have been a better Secretary of State. I'm proud of her. A lot of Americans look up to her. Her candidacy and nomination was historic and sends a message to our daughters all across the country that they can achieve at the highest levels of politics. And I am absolutely confident that she and President Clinton will continue to do great work for people here in the United States and all around the world.

Now, everybody is sad when their side loses an election. But the day after, we have to remember that we’re actually all on one team. This is an intramural scrimmage. We’re not Democrats first. We're not Republicans first. We are Americans first. We’re patriots first. We all want what’s best for this country. That’s what I heard in Mr. Trump’s remarks last night. That's what I heard when I spoke to him directly. And I was heartened by that. That's what the country needs -- a sense of unity; a sense of inclusion; a respect for our institutions, our way of life, rule of law; and a respect for each other. I hope that he maintains that spirit throughout this transition, and I certainly hope that’s how his presidency has a chance to begin.

I also told my team today to keep their heads up, because the remarkable work that they have done day in, day out -- often without a lot of fanfare, often without a lot of attention -- work in agencies, work in obscure areas of policy that make government run better and make it more responsive, and make it more efficient, and make it more service-friendly so that it's actually helping more people -- that remarkable work has left the next President with a stronger, better country than the one that existed eight years ago.

So win or lose in this election, that was always our mission. That was our mission from day one. And everyone on my team should be extraordinarily proud of everything that they have done, and so should all the Americans that I’ve had a chance to meet all across this country who do the hard work of building on that progress every single day. Teachers in schools, doctors in the ER clinic, small businesses putting their all into starting something up, making sure they're treating their employees well. All the important work that's done by moms and dads and families and congregations in every state. The work of perfecting this union.

So this was a long and hard-fought campaign. A lot of our fellow Americans are exultant today. A lot of Americans are less so. But that's the nature of campaigns. That's the nature of democracy. It is hard, and sometimes contentious and noisy, and it's not always inspiring.

But to the young people who got into politics for the first time, and may be disappointed by the results, I just want you to know, you have to stay encouraged. Don’t get cynical. Don’t ever think you can’t make a difference. As Secretary Clinton said this morning, fighting for what is right is worth it.

Sometimes you lose an argument. Sometimes you lose an election. The path that this country has taken has never been a straight line. We zig and zag, and sometimes we move in ways that some people think is forward and others think is moving back. And that's okay. I’ve lost elections before. Joe hasn't. (Laughter.) But you know.

(The Vice President blesses himself.) (Laughter.)

So I've been sort of --

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Remember, you beat me badly. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: That’s the way politics works sometimes. We try really hard to persuade people that we’re right. And then people vote. And then if we lose, we learn from our mistakes, we do some reflection, we lick our wounds, we brush ourselves off, we get back in the arena. We go at it. We try even harder the next time.

The point, though, is, is that we all go forward, with a presumption of good faith in our fellow citizens -- because that presumption of good faith is essential to a vibrant and functioning democracy. That's how this country has moved forward for 240 years. It’s how we’ve pushed boundaries and promoted freedom around the world. That's how we've expanded the rights of our founding to reach all of our citizens. It’s how we have come this far.

And that's why I'm confident that this incredible journey that we're on as Americans will go on. And I am looking forward to doing everything that I can to make sure that the next President is successful in that. I have said before, I think of this job as being a relay runner -- you take the baton, you run your best race, and hopefully, by the time you hand it off you're a little further ahead, you've made a little progress. And I can say that we've done that, and I want to make sure that handoff is well-executed, because ultimately we're all on the same team.

All right? Thank you very much, everybody.

My Brother's Keeper initiative (11.10.16)

One of my favorite things about launching our My Brother's Keeper initiative has been spending time with some outstanding young people from across the country. Whether it's shooting hoops with the young people in our White House Mentorship and Leadership program, or chatting over soul food with teens from New Orleans, I've gotten to know some great kids who are succeeding despite the odds.

Many of them are going through the same issues I faced growing up. I was angry about not having a dad in the house -- something I didn't realize at the time. I made dumb mistakes. I didn't always follow the straight path. But I was fortunate. I had people in my life who encouraged me -- my mom, my grandparents, my teachers. I had a support system of folks who pushed me to work hard and make the most of myself.

Every young person in America deserves the same opportunities I had: a world-class education, a pathway to apply for college or find a job, and a chance to lay a foundation for a career and a family.

But the fact is that in America, some groups have the odds stacked against them across multiple generations. And by so many measures, the group that is facing some of the most severe challenges in the 21st century are boys and young men of color.

That's why we started My Brother's Keeper: to bring together the private and public sector to ensure that all young people in America can reach their full potential.

In just two years, My Brother's Keeper has come a long way. Nearly 250 communities across 50 states, 19 tribal nations, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have committed to supporting our kids from cradle to college to career. We've implemented new federal programs that are breaking down barriers to opportunity. And foundations and companies have made more than $1 billion in commitments to strengthen communities and transform lives.

I'll be talking more about the progress that we've made with My Brother's Keeper tonight in a conversation at North Carolina A&T State University. You can watch on ESPN's Facebook page at 10pm ET.

We'll also be celebrating several major new commitments supporting MBK's goals -- like nearly 50 companies signing on to our new #FirstJob Compact, committing to develop better practices to hire disconnected youth, and the Sprint Corporation's announcement that it will provide 1 million high-school students who don’t have the Internet at home with mobile devices.

If Michelle and I had a son, we’d want him to have the same thing we want for our daughters -- to grow up with a boundless sense of possibility. We'd want him to have respect for himself and for others, a commitment to hard work, and the opportunity to achieve his dreams. As Americans, that’s what we should all want for all children.

President Barack Obama

This is Progress (21.9.16)

Over the past eight years, we’ve made incredible progress in our economic recovery. Our businesses have created more than 15 million new jobs since early 2010. Twenty million people now have the security of health coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Together, we’ve turned around an economy in freefall and put it on a stronger, more durable course.

Mehr dazu

Felicia Escobar: "Immigrants are the American character" (16.9.2016)

Growing up in a Mexican-American family in San Antonio, Texas, I was raised to be proud of both my Mexican and American heritage. I was taught the values of this country by my parents, grandparents, and very large network of extended family and friends. I was taught that anyone can achieve their dreams, if they work hard. But I never thought I’d end up in the White House. And as someone who’s worked on public policy and social justice issues all her life, I never thought I’d get the opportunity to be part of the progress we’ve made under this remarkable president.

Last night, President Obama kicked off the month with a speech celebrating the strides that Hispanic Americans have made together over the past eight years -- and he thanked the Hispanic American community for having his back and lifting him up. Trust me, you won’t want to miss this one: Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month: "Immigrants Are the American Character"

Under President Obama, we’ve brought back the economy from the brink and helped make sure more families have access to the same basic opportunities: a good-paying job, affordable health care, and a good education. Since the President took office, about 4 million more Hispanic Americans have health care than before, and more Hispanic students are graduating high school than ever before.

And last year, across every race and age group in America, incomes grew at the fastest rate on record -- and Hispanic American families had some of the fastest income growth.

I started my career fighting for DREAMers, and am personally proud of our work to bring these inspiring young people out of the shadows and to keep families together. Through the President’s executive actions to modernize our immigration system, more than 740,000 DREAMers have been able to contribute to the only country they’ve ever known.

But we all know there is more work to do. And while we have not achieved our ultimate goal of passing commonsense immigration reform, we have broadened and deepened the coalition of support, and I am confident we will get there because you will continue to fight for it.

As President Obama said last night, "Immigrants aren’t somehow changing the American character; Immigrants are the American character."

When I reflect on the work we have left to do, I think of the values my family taught me in San Antonio, and of their boundless faith in this country: the idea that if we stay optimistic and stick together, progress is possible.

Obamas offizielle Song- und Leselisten für den Sommer 2016

On the fatal shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile (7.7.16)

Good evening, everybody. I know we've been on a long flight, but given the extraordinary interest in the shootings that took place in Louisiana and Minnesota, I thought it would be important for me to address all of you directly.

And I want to begin by expressing my condolences for the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.

As I said in the statement that I posted on Facebook, we have seen tragedies like this too many times. The Justice Department, I know, has opened a civil rights investigation in Baton Rouge. The governor of Minnesota, I understand, is calling for an investigation there, as well. As is my practice, given my institutional role, I can't comment on the specific facts of these cases, and I have full confidence in the Justice Department’s ability to conduct a thorough and fair inquiry.

But what I can say is that all of us as Americans should be troubled by these shootings, because these are not isolated incidents. They’re symptomatic of a broader set of racial disparities that exist in our criminal justice system. And I just want to give people a few statistics to try to put in context why emotions are so raw around these issues.

According to various studies -- not just one, but a wide range of studies that have been carried out over a number of years -- African Americans are 30 percent more likely than whites to be pulled over. After being pulled over, African Americans and Hispanics are three times more likely to be searched. Last year, African Americans were shot by police at more than twice the rate of whites. African Americans are arrested at twice the rate of whites. African American defendants are 75 percent more likely to be charged with offenses carrying mandatory minimums. They receive sentences that are almost 10 percent longer than comparable whites arrested for the same crime.

So that if you add it all up, the African American and Hispanic population, who make up only 30 percent of the general population, make up more than half of the incarcerated population.

Now, these are facts. And when incidents like this occur, there’s a big chunk of our fellow citizenry that feels as if because of the color of their skin, they are not being treated the same. And that hurts. And that should trouble all of us. This is not just a black issue. It's not just a Hispanic issue. This is an American issue that we should all care about. All fair-minded people should be concerned.

Now, let me just say we have extraordinary appreciation and respect for the vast majority of police officers who put their lives on the line to protect us every single day. They’ve got a dangerous job. It is a tough job. And as I've said before, they have a right to go home to their families, just like anybody else on the job. And there are going to be circumstances in which they’ve got to make split-second decisions. We understand that.

But when we see data that indicates disparities in how African Americans and Latinos may be treated in various jurisdictions around the country, then it's incumbent on all of us to say, we can do better than this; we are better than this -- and to not have it degenerate into the usual political scrum. We should be able to step back, reflect, and ask ourselves, what can we do better so that everybody feels as if they’re equal under the law?

Now, the good news is, is that there are practices we can institute that will make a difference. Last year, we put together a task force that was comprised of civil rights activists and community leaders, but also law enforcement officials -- police captains, sheriffs. And they sat around a table and they looked at the data and they looked at best practices, and they came up with specific recommendations and steps that could ensure that the trust between communities and police departments were rebuilt and incidents like this would be less likely to occur.

And there are some jurisdictions out there that have adopted these recommendations. But there are a whole bunch that have not. And if anything good comes out of these tragedies, my hope is, is that communities around the country take a look and say, how can we implement these recommendations, and that the overwhelming majority of police officers who are doing a great job every single day, and are doing their job without regard to race, that they encourage their leadership and organizations that represent them to get behind these recommendations.

Because, ultimately, if you can rebuild trust between communities and the police departments that serve them, that helps us solve crime problems. That will make life easier for police officers. They will have more cooperation. They will be safer. They will be more likely to come home. So it would be good for crime-fighting and it will avert tragedy.

And I'm encouraged by the fact that the majority of leadership in police departments around the country recognize this. But change has been too slow and we have to have a greater sense of urgency about this.

I'm also encouraged, by the way, that we have bipartisan support for criminal justice reform working its way through Congress. It has stalled and lost some momentum over the last couple of months, in part because Congress is having difficulty, generally, moving legislation forward, and we're in a political season. But there are people of goodwill on the Republican side and the Democratic side who I've seen want to try to get something done here. That, too, would help provide greater assurance across the country that those in power, those in authority are taking these issues seriously. So this should be a spur to action to get that done, to get that across the finish line. Because I know there are a lot of people who want to get it done.

Let me just make a couple of final comments. I mentioned in my Facebook statement that I hope we don't fall into the typical patterns that occur after these kinds of incidents occur, where right away there’s a lot of political rhetoric and it starts dividing people instead of bringing folks together. To be concerned about these issues is not to be against law enforcement. There are times when these incidents occur, and you see protests and you see vigils. And I get letters -- well-meaning letters sometimes -- from law enforcement saying, how come we’re under attack? How come not as much emphasis is made when police officers are shot?

And so, to all of law enforcement, I want to be very clear: We know you have a tough job. We mourn those in uniform who are protecting us who lose their lives. On a regular basis, I have joined with families in front of Capitol Hill to commemorate the incredible heroism that they’ve displayed. I’ve hugged family members who’ve lost loved ones doing the right thing. I know how much it hurts. On a regular basis, we bring in those who’ve done heroic work in law enforcement, and have survived. Sometimes they’ve been injured. Sometimes they’ve risked their lives in remarkable ways. And we applaud them and appreciate them, because they’re doing a really tough job really well.

There is no contradiction between us supporting law enforcement -- making sure they’ve got the equipment they need, making sure that their collective bargaining rights are recognized, making sure that they’re adequately staffed, making sure that they are respected, making sure their families are supported -- and also saying that there are problems across our criminal justice system, there are biases -- some conscious and unconscious -- that have to be rooted out. That’s not an attack on law enforcement. That is reflective of the values that the vast majority of law enforcement bring to the job.

But I repeat: If communities are mistrustful of the police, that makes those law enforcement officers who are doing a great job and are doing the right thing, it makes their lives harder. So when people say “Black Lives Matter,” that doesn’t mean blue lives don’t matter; it just means all lives matter, but right now the big concern is the fact that the data shows black folks are more vulnerable to these kinds of incidents.

This isn’t a matter of us comparing the value of lives. This is recognizing that there is a particular burden that is being placed on a group of our fellow citizens. And we should care about that. We can’t dismiss it. We can’t dismiss it.

So let me just end by saying I actually, genuinely, truly believe that the vast majority of American people see this as a problem that we should all care about. And I would just ask those who question the sincerity or the legitimacy of protests and vigils and expressions of outrage, who somehow label those expressions of outrage as “political correctness,” I’d just ask folks to step back and think, what if this happened to somebody in your family? How would you feel?

To be concerned about these issues is not political correctness. It’s just being an American, and wanting to live up to our best and highest ideals. And it’s to recognize the reality that we’ve got some tough history and we haven’t gotten through all of that history yet. And we don’t expect that in my lifetime, maybe not in my children’s lifetime, that all the vestiges of that past will have been cured, will have been solved, but we can do better. People of goodwill can do better.

And doing better involves not just addressing potential bias in the criminal justice system. It’s recognizing that too often we’re asking police to man the barricades in communities that have been forgotten by all of us for way too long, in terms of substandard schools, and inadequate jobs, and a lack of opportunity.

We’ve got to tackle those things. We can do better. And I believe we will do better.

Thanks very much, everybody.

Link zum Video

My decision on our mission in Afghanistan (7.7.16)

More than 14 years ago, after al Qaida attacked our nation on 9/11, the United States went to war in Afghanistan to combat these terrorists and the Taliban that harbored them.

Over the years, thanks to the heroic efforts of our military, intelligence officials, diplomats and development professionals, we pushed al Qaida out of its camps, helped the Afghan people topple the Taliban and establish a democratic government, dealt crippling blows to the al Qaida leadership, delivered justice to Osama bin Laden, and trained Afghan forces to take responsibility for their own security.

Given that progress, America's combat mission in Afghanistan came to a responsible end in December of 2014.

Compared to the 100,000 troops we once had there, today, fewer than 10,000 remain. And compared to their previous mission -- helping to lead the fight -- our forces are now focused on two narrow missions: training and advising Afghan forces and supporting counterterrorist operations against the remnants of al Qaida as well as other terrorists, including ISIL. Even as we remain relentless against those who threaten us, we are no longer engaged in a major ground war in Afghanistan.

Still, even these narrow missions continue to be dangerous. Over the past year and a half, 38 Americans -- military and civilian -- have given their lives in Afghanistan for our security. We honor their sacrifice. We stand with their families in their grief and their pride. And we resolve to carry on the mission for which they gave their last full measure of devotion.

Today, our mission in Afghanistan is not ours alone. For the second year now, Afghan forces are fully responsible for their own security. Every day, nearly 320,000 Afghan soldiers and police are serving and fighting -- and many are giving their lives -- to defend their country. Meanwhile, in another milestone, we recently removed the leader of the Taliban, Akhtar Mohammad Mansur.

Nevertheless, the security situation in Afghanistan remains precarious. Even as they improve, Afghan security forces are still not as strong as they need to be. The Taliban remains a threat. And as President and Commander-in-Chief, I've made it clear that I will not allow Afghanistan to be used as safe haven for terrorists to attack our nation again.

That is why today, based on the recommendation of our military leaders, my national security team, and in consultation with Congress, the Afghan government and international partners, I announced an adjustment to our posture.

Instead of drawing down to 5,500 troops by the end of this year, the United States will maintain approximately 8,400 troops in Afghanistan into next year, through the end of my administration. The narrow missions assigned to our forces will not change -- they'll remain focused on supporting Afghan forces and going after terrorists. However, maintaining our forces at this specific level will allow us to continue providing tailored support to help Afghan forces continue to improve. And we will continue supporting critical counterterrorism operations.

I know that when we first sent our forces into Afghanistan 14 years ago, few Americans imagined we'd be there -- in any capacity -- this long. As President, I've focused our strategy on training and building up Afghan forces. And because we have, we were able to end our major ground war there and bring home 90 percent of our troops.

Yet even as we work for peace, we must deal with the realities of the world as it is. And we must never forget what's at stake in Afghanistan. This is where al Qaida is trying to regroup and where ISIL is trying to expand its presence. And make no mistake, if these terrorists succeed in regaining areas and camps where they can train and plot, they will attempt more attacks against us. I will not allow that to happen.

This September, we'll mark 15 years since the attacks of 9/11. Once more, we'll pause to remember the nearly 3,000 lives we lost. We'll salute our men and women in uniform -- our 9/11 Generation -- who have served in Afghanistan and beyond. We'll honor the memory of all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, including more than 2,200 American patriots who have given their lives in Afghanistan.

As we do, let's never forget the progress their service has made possible. Whether it's millions more Afghan children in school, or dramatic improvements to public health, or the first democratic transfer of power in Afghanistan's history, Afghanistan is a better place than it once was. That’s progress we've helped make possible -- progress we can help sustain, in partnership with the Afghan people and our coalition partners. And that’s why I firmly believe that the decision I'm announcing today is the right thing to do -- for Afghanistan, for the United States and for the world.

President Barack Obama

After War, A New Legacy of Peace in Laos