Anohni Unveils “Obama” Video, Asks Him to Release Chelsea Manning

Anohni Unveils “Obama” Video, Asks Him to Release Chelsea Manning

The artist composed a powerful plea to President Obama for the prisoner's release.

The artist composed a powerful plea to President Obama for the prisoner's release.

Text: Jake Viswanath

Anohni has released the video for “Obama,” the latest single from her critically acclaimed album Hopelessness. Like some of her past videos, the musician elected not to appear in the video herself, allowing two striking women to reflect the emotional weight of the solemn track against stark blank backgrounds.

The track was written about Anohni’s disappointment in our current president, specifically in his use of drone bombs in the Middle East and her belief that he has not been as transparent with his policy agendas as once promised. The artist has used this platform to release a powerful open letter to President Obama, imploring him to release Chelsea Manning from prison before leaving the White House, citing her campaign efforts around the world as reason for him to listen.

Manning was sentenced to 35 years in military prison, with a possible extension for life, for giving classified documents and videos to WikiLeaks. She has attempted suicide at least twice after the prison refused her requests to undergo gender assignment surgery. The letter is an understandable effort on Anohni’s part, given their connection as transgender women and Manning’s severe punishment for non-violent crimes. Read the letter below.

"OBAMA, I voted for you. I campaigned for you across Europe.

Like thousands of others, in the newspapers and on TV, I told European press that you were a feminist, a kind and 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 in prison,

she will never see the light of day, or worse.

If you leave Chelsea Manning in prison for whistle blowing

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."

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