Former President Barack Obama spoke about healthcare and standing up to hate Sunday when he delivered one of his highest-profile speeches since leaving office.
Obama didn’t mention President Donald Trump by name during his speech, but made indirect references to him and his policies.
During the speech, which lasted just under 30 minutes, Obama said that Republicans were essentially helping the rich and hurting the poor by passing the American Healthcare Act through the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday.
“I hope that current members of Congress recognize it takes little courage to aid those who are already powerful, already comfortable, already influential — but it takes great courage to champion the vulnerable and the sick and the infirm,” Obama said.
The speech was at John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston. Obama was accepting the Profile in Courage Award, which is given to someone that aligns with JFK’s definition of political courage.
Obama also encouraged Americans to have courage and “stand up to hate” when feeling polarized.
Watch a full video replay of the former president’s speech in the video below.
Obama hasn’t made many public appearances since he left office January 20, but took the time during this one to speak directly about having courage to stand up to hateful rhetoric.
“At such moments, courage is necessary,” Obama said in his speech. “At such moments, we need courage to stand up to hate, not just in others, but in ourselves. At such moments, we need courage to stand up to dogma, not just in others, but in ourselves.
“Courage means not doing what is simply politically expedient but doing what (people) believe in their hearts is right. And this kind of courage is required of all of us.”
The award was created in 1989 by members of JFK’s family to recognize public officials that “demonstrate the qualities of politically courage leadership.”
The award has its name because of Kennedy’s 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning biography titled Profiles in Courage.
After Obama’s speech, he was presented with a lantern, which is modeled after the lantern on the U.S.S. Constitution, the oldest ship in the U.S. Navy.
In April, Obama made headlines when he said that he would deliver a speech at an engagement for a Wall Street investment firm in September. He is reportedly going to be paid $400,000 to give the keynote remarks at Cantor Fitzgerald‘s healthcare conference.