Obama Warns of ‘Tribalism’ At Pearl Harbor: ‘Resist the Urge to Demonize Those Who Are Different’

U.S. President Barack Obama walks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the Ujibashi
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

President Barack Obama is urging Americans to reject the “tug of tribalism” and focus on the world’s common humanity.

During a ceremony recognizing the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, Obama said, “It is here that we remember that even when hatred burns hottest, even when the tug of tribalism is at its most primal, we must resist the urge to turn inward. We must resist the urge to demonize those who are different.”

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also visited the site to offer condolences for the victims.

“I offer my sincere and everlasting condolences to the souls of those who lost their lives here, as well as to the spirits of all the brave men and women whose lives were taken by a war that commenced in this very place, and also to the souls of the countless innocent people who became the victims of the war,” Abe said during his speech.

Obama encouraged Americans to remember the victims of war, and work for peace.

“The sacrifice made here, the anguish of war, reminds us to seek the divine spark that is common to all humanity,” he said. “It insists that we strive to be what our Japanese friends call otagai no tame ni — ‘with and for each other.’”


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