It’s relatively easy for a celebrity to criticize Donald Trump, but harder to do so against the man who’s still president for just a little while longer, Barack Obama. The musician ANOHNI is using the final weeks of Obama’s term to lobby the president on a cause important to her: freeing Chelsea Manning, who is serving a prison sentence for leaking classified documents published on WikiLeaks. ANOHNI released “Obama,” a song off of her album HOPELESSNESS, where she sings in a mournful voice about Obama “betraying virtues” and “punishing whistleblowers.” ANOHNI has released an open letter more directly asking Obama to free Chelsea Manning. “With Trump incoming, if you leave Chelsea there / She will never see the light of day, or worse,” she writes. “If you leave her in prison you send the final message to our nation that the Obama administration brutally punished moral courage in these unforgiving United States.”
Watch the video:
Here’s the open letter:
I voted for you, I campaigned for you across Europe,
Like thousands of others, in the newspapers and on TV, telling European press that you were
a feminist, a kind an reasonable man, a just and fair man, that you would restore our country’s dignity.
OBAMA, Please let Chelsea Manning out of prison.
Recognize her tremendous sacrifice, and her vulnerability.
With Trump incoming, if you leave Chelsea there
She will never see the light of day, or worse.
If you leave her in prison
You send the final message to our nation
that the Obama administration brutally punished moral courage
in these unforgiving United States.
She has suffered Enough, President Obama
She poses no threat.
Show us the heart of the Obama administration now.
The election is over.
There is no political advantage left in allowing Chelsea to perish in prison.
Have mercy on her, Obama,
friend of the trans community:
I implore you to Free Chelsea Manning.