People like President Obama. He’s funny, charming, and very personable with his words, but he’s also a war criminal regardless of how hard he’s been trying to escape his legacy this past year. Larry Wilmore said it best at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner when he joked, “I saw you hanging out with NBA players like Steph Curry, Golden State Warriors. Yea that was cool, that was cool. You know it kind of makes sense too, cause you both like raining down bombs on people from long distances.” And of course in an event dedicated to ignoring the flaws of the American President and meant to only focus on his ‘perfections,’ Wilmore’s joke was met with resounding disapproval from the crowd. You could even see Obama’s cool demeanor shift into apprehensiveness in that very brief moment. He tried to play it off, but it was clear he wasn’t amused. Unfortunately, people on Twitter and Facebook have consistently been more concerned with how much Obama roasted upcoming Presidential candidates than they are about the amount of roasting he has done to the Iraqi, Libyan, Yemeni, Pakistani, Afghan, Syrian, and many other people in his 8 yearlong presidency.
The most dangerous thing about Obama has always been his likability. He oozes of manipulation; playing on his exceptional skills in public speaking to persuade and ease people into his deluded reality to undermine his glaring flaws and weaknesses. There is something to be said about us, as a society, when we allow our President to go unchecked and freely enjoy popularity and comfortably jest about his antics that have killed thousands of people, purely because of his ability to speak well. Just imagine someone laughing along with Saddam Hussein if he joked about killing Kurds, what kind of scrutiny would that hold in our country? And what kind of scrutiny would the Iraqi people face from U.S. citizens if Iraqi citizens were shown laughing at such jokes? These are serious questions that we need to ask ourselves as a society.
We as a collective body have been damaged. Our responses to atrocities are unhuman, filled with desensitized attitudes, and are antithetical to the notion of a universal valuation of human lives. Can someone reasonably get away with saying they liked Osama Bin Laden because they thought he was funny or likable while being fully aware of the things that he’s done, in this country? We all know the answer to that. Yet many of us excuse ourselves of any responsibility for laughing along with Mr. President while being fully aware of the injustices he has brandished onto civilians less fortunate than you or I just because “he’s funny.” Is the only difference that he holds office? Isn’t that worse? Someone who has gotten legitimacy from his populace and has represented his constituents by unashamedly using his likability as a means to get out of any accountability for his war crimes.
The U.S. recently bombed a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan which killed 42 people and wounded dozens of others. After an internal investigation done by the Pentagon, the U.S. basically said, “We didn’t know there was a hospital there, sorry guys! Our bad” as if the rest of the world was some abused partner that didn’t have the ability to answer “it’s not ok.” The assumption is that it’s always ok. And we can’t say that we aren’t a part of the problem. We give the power for our government to behave in this way because by laughing along we’re saying it’s ok as well. So next time you’re considering pressing that share button on one of those hilarious Obama videos, just remember that you can choose not to laugh.