"We betray the efforts of the past if we fail to push back against bigotry in all its forms," he continued.
Obama spoke to ideas that he has returned to repeatedly in his presidency — especially the nation's ongoing quest to make real the promise of the country's Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
But his words, this time, seemed tailored to the news of the week and the harsh language of the campaign season. Obama spoke of slavery as the "nation's original sin" and warned that the United States "condemned itself to shackles" if it ignored those who are subjects of discrimination and injustice.
"We betray the efforts of the past if we fail to push back against bigotry in all its forms," he said.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Obama's remarks weren't directed at Trump or any candidate, but observed that they stood in stark contrast to the message "that’s being promulgated not just by Mr. Trump but a variety of Republican candidates."