Former U.S. president Barack Obama waded back into politics with a fiery speech Friday, openly taking aim his successor’s leadership style.
While speaking at the University of Illinois, Obama criticized what American politics have become, specifically targeting U.S. President Donald Trump for perpetuating problems.
One of those problems was racism and discrimination in America.
“It shouldn’t be Democratic or Republican to say we don’t target certain groups of people based on what they look like or how they pray,” he said.
“We are Americans: we’re supposed to stand up to bullies, not follow them. We’re supposed to stand up to discrimination. And we’re sure as heck supposed to stand up clearly and unequivocally to Nazi sympathizers. How hard can that be, saying that Nazis are bad?”
Obama was alluding to last year’s violence in Charlottesville, Va. — white supremacist rallies, which eventually led to one woman being killed.
At the time, Trump hesitated to denounce the violence, and said there were bad people on “both sides.”
WATCH ABOVE: Obama questions racism in America — ‘How hard is it to say Nazis are bad?’
The former president urged Americans to take on issues such as racism, saying progress can be made.
“Progress does not happen all at once,” he said. “The Civil Rights Act didn’t end racism, but it made things better.”
WATCH: Obama says Democrats won’t win by calling parts of the country racist
“Do not let people tell you the fight’s not worth it because you won’t get everything that you want. The idea that, ‘Well, you know, there’s racism in America, so I’m not going to bother voting,’ makes no sense.”
“You can make it better. Better is always worth fighting for,” Obama said.
Turning his sights on his own party, Obama said Democrats won’t win in the November midterm elections by “dismissing” parts of the country as “racist, sexist, or homophobic.”
Obama also took aim at several other issues during the speech, including Trump’s response to Hurricane Maria, the economy and his attacks on the media.