US not cured of racism: Obama in 1st pod­cast


Amer­i­can Pres­i­dent Barack Obama says the United States has not over­come its history of racism and is us­ing the N-word to make his case.

In an in­ter­view, Obama weighed in on the de­bate over race and guns that has erupted af­ter the ar­rest of a white man for the racially mo­ti­vated shoot­ing deaths of nine black church mem­bers in Charleston, South Carolina.

“Racism, we are not cured of it,” Obama said. “And it’s not just a mat­ter of it not be­ing po­lite to say ‘nig­ger’ in public. That’s not the mea­sure of whether racism still ex­ists or not. It’s not just a mat­ter of overt dis­crim­i­na­tion. So­ci­eties don’t, overnight, com­pletely erase ev­ery­thing that hap­pened 200 to 300 years prior.”

Obama’s re­marks came dur­ing an in­ter­view out Mon­day with co­me­dian Marc Maron for his pop­u­lar pod­cast, where crude lan­guage is of­ten part of the dis­cus­sion.

The pres­i­dent said while at­ti­tudes about race have im­proved sig­nif­i­cantly since he was born to a white mother and black fa­ther, the legacy of slav­ery “casts a long shadow and that’s still part of our DNA that’s passed on.”

Obama also ex­pressed frus­tra­tion that “the grip of the NRA ( Na­tional Ri­fle As­so­ci­a­tion) on Congress is ex­tremely strong” and pre­vented gun con­trol from ad­vanc­ing in the U.S. Congress af­ter 20 chil­dren and six ed­u­ca­tors were mas­sa­cred in a Con­necti­cut ele­men­tary school in 2012.

“I will tell you, right af­ter Sandy Hook, New­town, when 20 6-yearolds are gunned down, and Congress lit­er­ally does noth­ing — yes, that’s the clos­est I came to feel­ing dis­gusted,” he said. “I was pretty dis­gusted.”

He said it’s im­por­tant to re­spect that hunt­ing and sports­man­ship are im­por­tant to a lot of gunown­ing Amer­i­cans. “The ques­tion is just is there a way of ac­com­mo­dat­ing that le­git­i­mate set of tra­di­tions with some com­mon-sense stuff that pre­vents a 21-year-old who is an­gry about some­thing or con­fused about some­thing, or is racist, or is de­ranged from go­ing into a gun store and sud­denly is pack­ing, and can do enor­mous harm,” Obama said in a ref­er­ence to sus­pect Dy­lann Storm Roof, whose pur­ported 2,500- word hate-filled man­i­festo talked about white supremacy. Roof faces nine counts of mur­der in con­nec­tion with Wed­nes­day’s shoot­ing.

With the cam­paign to re­place him heat­ing up, Obama said he thinks he would be a bet­ter can­di­date if he were run­ning again, be­cause although he’s slowed down a lit­tle bit, “I know what I’m do­ing and I’m fear­less.”

“I’ve screwed up. I’ve been in the bar­rel tum­bling down Ni­a­gara Falls. And I emerged and I lived. And that’s al­ways such a lib­er­at­ing feel­ing,” he said.

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