President Obama’s great response to why he went to a baseball game after a terror attack.

On the day of the deadliest terrorist attack in Europe since the November shootings in Paris, President Barack Obama gave a historic speech in Havana, Cuba — and then went to a baseball game.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.


In a mid-game interview with ESPN, Obama addressed the violence in Belgium.

"This is just one more example of why the entire world has to unite against these terrorists," Obama said. "The notion that any political agenda would justify the killing of innocent people like this is something that’s beyond the pale. We are going to continue with the over 60 nations that are pounding ISIL, and we’re going to go after them."

Later in the interview, ESPN's Karl Ravich asked Obama if he "considered not coming to the game," given the tragedy unfolding in Brussels.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

The president's response should be required reading (emphasis added):

"It's always a challenge when you have a terrorist attack anywhere in the world. Particularly in this age of 24/7 news coverage, you want to be respectful and understand the gravity of the situation. But the whole premise of terrorism is to try to disrupt people's ordinary lives. And one of my most powerful memories, and one of my proudest moments as president, was watching Boston respond after the marathon. And when Ortiz went out and said, probably the only time that America didn't have a problem with somebody cursing on live TV, was when he talked about Boston and how strong it was and that it was not going to be intimidated. And that is the kind of resilience and kind of strength that we have to continually show in the face of these terrorists.

They cannot defeat America. They don't produce anything. They don't have a message that appeals to the vast majority of Muslims or the vast majority of people around the world. What they can do is scare and make people afraid. And disrupt our daily lives and divide us. And as long as we don't allow that to happen, we're going to be OK."

What Obama said today is true — many counterterrorism experts believe that terrorist groups like ISIS aim to terrorize us enough that we stop living our lives and start turning on each other.

A note is left in Brussels' Place de la Bourse after the March 22 terror attacks. Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images.

With attacks like this one, organizations like ISIS aim to exacerbate the divide between the West and the Muslim world, throw suspicion on refugees, and instigate reciprocal violence that helps them recruit.

It's evolving into one of their signature tactics — and tragically, sometimes it works.

Thankfully, many of the people of Brussels were having none of it today, coming together, offering rides to people who were stranded, and chalking messages of support in public plazas even as the dust from the attacks was still settling.

It's understandable to be scared in the wake of a terror attack. But it's when we let that fear goad us into shutting down or lashing out violently against those who don't deserve it that bad things happen.

Obama is right that ISIS wants us to be scared. They want us to be looking over our shoulders all the time. Most depressingly, they want us to be suspicious of our neighbors.

Obama is right that sometimes the most powerful weapon we have is to refuse to give into fear. On days like these, that can mean the best way to not let the terrorists win is plain and simple:

Play ball.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

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Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

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Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

RELATED: This aboriginal Australian used kindness and tea to trump the racism he overheard.

Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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