“I think, you know, the Good Book says ‘don’t throw stones in glass houses,’ or, ‘make sure we’re looking at the log in our eye before we’re pointing out the moat in other folks’ eyes,” Obama stated. “I think that’s as true in politics as it is in life.”
The ‘don’t throw stones in glass houses’ reference is actually a proverb that has no confirmed source of origin, but is used in Chaucer’s 14th Century work “Troilus and Criseyde.”
In trying to make a point about having difficulty working with Republicans regarding his executive actions on immigration because some still believe that he’s not an American-born citizen.
“Now, does that mean everybody is going to listen to me, on the other side,” Obama said. “Not necessarily, they’re pretty sure I’m an illegal immigrant.”
Obama explained that it was important to set up a fair legal system that “reflected human nature” and “the wisdom of the American people” instead of one that separated families.
“Now, does that mean everybody is going to listen to me, on the other side,” he said. “Not necessarily, they’re pretty sure I’m an illegal immigrant.”
After the audience laughed, Obama added, “That was a joke.”
Obama then reminded the audience that he was of Irish heritage—pointing out that one of his ancestors was a boot maker in Ireland.
The Irish, he added, were once discriminated against when they emigrated from Ireland in large numbers.
“Read your history and look at how people talked about Irish immigrants,” Obama said.
Obama also pointed out that many Americans who opposed immigration reform should remember where their ancestors came from.
“Look, immigration, as I said before, has always elicited passion and it’s ironic because unless you are a member of an American Tribe, you came here from somewhere else,” Obama reminded his critics.
Obama said that people who asserted that they came to America the “right way” didn’t have to deal with the bureaucratic difficulties that immigrants had to deal with today.
“It wasn’t always neat and orderly,” he asserted.
“What happens is once folks are here, we kinda forget that we used to be there,” he explained, asking people to put their feet in their shoes and “show some empathy.”