Obama Receives RFK Award for Human Rights — Here Are a Few of His Less-Than-Humanitarian Decisions

Alex Brandon/Pool via REUTERS

Former President Barack Obama was a recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy “Ripple of Hope” Award for being a champion of human rights — or at least that is what the people at the RFK Human Rights organization think.

The RFK Human Rights awards several politicians, celebrities, or businessmen the “Ripple of Hope” award for honoring Kennedy’s “passion for equality, justice, basic human rights, and his belief that we all must strive to “make gentle the life of this world.”

Since the first award was given out in 2007, several prominent liberals have accepted the honor, including former President Bill Clinton, Robert DeNiro, Bono, George Clooney, and Taylor Swift.

In their write up about Obama, they gush about the former president overcoming his Republican foes, writing:

“And yet, despite all manner of political obstruction, Obama’s leadership helped rescue the economy, revitalize the American auto industry, reform the health care system to cover another twenty million Americans, and put the country on a firm course to a clean energy future – all while overseeing the longest stretch of job creation in American history.”

They also cited his achievements in Cuba and Iran as reasons for his human rights award. As IJR Blue reported, President Donald Trump accepted his award with a speech on gun violence.

Although Obama did lead several humanitarian efforts, he also made some Oval Office decisions that would be hard to consider as pro-human rights.

Caving to Russia

Obama had an infamous hot mic moment where he told Russian officials he would be able to give them more flexibility after he won re-election — but he gave them a lot more than flexibility.

Russian President Vladimir Putin isn’t exactly shy about his human rights abuses. From killing his enemies to his atrocious policies on LGBT issues, Putin commits human rights abuses out of habit, making it important for Americans to keep him in line.

While in the White House, Obama allowed Putin to take the Crimean Penninsula from Ukraine. He allowed Russia to just take land from an ally, further spreading Putin’s disregard for human rights.

Caving on the Syrian “Red Line”

Syrian leader Bashar al Assad used chemical weapons on his own people. That’s the epitome of an assault on human rights. In response, Obama didn’t intervene but he did promise he would send in the U.S. military if chemical weapons were used again.

In 2012, Obama said, “We have been very clear to the Assad regime, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus [on the military intervention].”

By the end of the year, the Syrians were back at it, using chemical weapons on those opposed to the Assad regime.

Although Obama promised that was the “red line,” there wasn’t a response from the American military. In fact, he passed off the responsibility of punishing Assad to Putin — the guy who kills his opposition and arrests people for being gay.

Arresting children at the border

Many groups have condemned Trump for the children being detained at the U.S. border, including calls that his actions quantified an attack on human rights.

In fact, the RFK Human Rights organization even called him out for it.

The thing is, Obama also locked up children at the border — there was just a lot less outrage. In fact, the spark that triggered the outrage was an article that resurfaced from 2014 that showed children in cages. Many attributed that story to Trump’s policies, but it occurred before he was in the White House.

Trump, of course, called this out on Twitter.

Being president of the United States is no easy task and the decisions made in the Oval Office have consequences that ripple across the globe. The problem with awards given out by highly political groups like the “Ripple of Hope” award is that they can become blind to their own partisanship and give an award to a man who has done the same things they condemn Trump for.

What do you think?

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Phyllis Softa
Member

This is a lovely OPINION piece. WHERE is the disclaimer that it is not news, but commentary? An interview with a 20 year old actor that holds daily Bible reading with his mother is a “commentary” BUT reciting talking points with well placed “buzz” words & names is NOT? Why not mention the other 2018 award winners? Bruce Broussard, David Zaslov 2 CEO’s of American corporations, and Phil Murphy, Gov of New Jersey are noticeable absent from the article.

Screwtape
Member

Whatevs. He was awarded a Nobel for …. nothing.

Few, if any, have heard of the RFK award, so it’s another useless, participation trophy, unless it’s for “assuming the position” for the Russians and Syria, caging kids, using tear gas on the border, ACTUALLY persecuting journalists, or failing the covert part of giving millions to Iran.

I know I skipped a few of his failures, but there’s a character limit.

Michael
Member

What a crock. What is the fascination with giving Obama awards he doesn’t deserve?

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