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Obama outside the White House.
Obama outside the White House.
Massimo Gramellini

TURIN — The destiny of soon-to-be former President Barack Obama reminds me of history's great love stories. Desire then regret, always longing for something that is never quite fulfilled.

When the 44th President of the United States appeared on the scene he was charismatic, athletic and affable, making history as the first African-American nominee from a major party. It was love at first sight, and the world was so enamored that it wound up giving him the Nobel Peace Prize just for showing up.

Barack Obama was supposed to change the world; instead the world kept changing on its own accord, as if he didn't even exist. Our fascination with Obama and his widely popular First Lady, Michelle, captured our imaginations but failed to defuse racial tensions in the United States. As the American middle class continues its decline, Russia is asserting its military authority and China its economic might.

It would be unfair to say that Obama has been a bad President, though he hasn't proven to be a political mastermind either. Still, he has shown tenacity and extraordinary vision in diplomacy. Despite rising from obscurity to the presidency in four years, Obama struggled to challenge the dominant power of multinational corporations and the financial industry. His failure to keep his campaign promises isn't solely his fault; the blame also lies within America's political system and its failure to govern effectively and redistribute income fairly.

And now, after all the messages of hope and change eight years ago, Barack Obama will leave a peculiar legacy. He leaves behind a Western world that is weaker and poorer than the one he inherited — and will be succeeded by a man the world is certain will make things worse. Barack Obama, the world will miss you.

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Society

Gun Violence In America: Don't Blame The Victims — That Means Rappers Too

The recent shooting of Takeoff, a rapper, is another sad incident of gun crime in the U.S. But those blaming hip hop culture for contributing to gun violence ignore that rappers themselves are also victims. And the real point is that in today's America, nobody is safe from gun violence.

Gun Violence In America: Don't Blame The Victims — That Means Rappers Too

Fans wait outside State Farm Arena in Atlanta to attend the memorial service for Migos rapper Takeoff on Nov. 11

A.D. Carson

Add the name of Takeoff, a member of the popular rap trio Migos, to the ever-growing list of rappers, recent and past, tragically and violently killed.

The initial reaction to the shooting to death of Takeoff, born Kirsnick Ball, on Nov. 1, was to blame rap music and hip hop culture. People who engaged in this kind of scapegoating argue that the violence and despairing hopelessness in the music are the cause of so many rappers dying.

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