Can anyone tell me why Steven Spielberg presented President Obama with the USC Shoah award?

25 May




Can anyone tell me why Steven Spielberg presented President Obama with the USC Shoah award? After viewing and reading several news accounts, I was perplexed that none of them mentioned the reason Mr. Obama was chosen as recipient of this award. Some described the Shoah award as a humanitarian award and some said that the Shoah Foundation opposes genocide. But none of the stories explained what Obama has done to earn this award.

After doing some online research I caught a glimpse of the answer. According to The Hollywood Reporter,, Spielberg presented Obama with the USC Shoah Foundation’s Ambassador for Humanity Award, while thanking the president for “taking steps to combat genocide worldwide.” Wow! That’s an enormous feat, an achievement of which I was unaware. I have heard the president express concern for groups of people that are threatened worldwide, but I am unaware of the steps Obama has taken “to combat genocide worldwide.”

President Obama can be pretty good with his words and even convincing. As I read The Hollywood Reporter article, I noticed that the president made some wonderful and inspiring comments, like: “And it’s up to us — each of us, every one of us — to forcefully condemn any denial of the Holocaust. It’s up to us to combat not only anti-Semitism, but racism and bigotry and intolerance in all their forms, here and around the world. To speak out against rhetoric that threatens the existence of a Jewish homeland and to sustain America’s unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security.”

Those are great things to say. But what has the president actually done about them? And what has he done about combating genocide worldwide? Perhaps, just saying great things is one of the steps to which Mr. Spielberg was referring. However, I would hope that President Obama backs his great statements with great actions.

5 Responses to “Can anyone tell me why Steven Spielberg presented President Obama with the USC Shoah award?”

  1. sophielombardo May 28, 2014 at 7:33 pm #

    Great post, and an excellent question. In 2008, then-Senator Obama promised to recognize the 1918 annihilation of the Armenians as a genocide. He has yet to do so, fearing a fallout with Turkey. From what I know, he has made no comment on the little-known humanitarian crisis in Burma. If we expand the issue to general human rights abuses and look at Syria, the atrocities have been verbally condemned and nothing more. The President has taken no ACTION. To say the least, I am a bit shocked he has received this award.


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