Obama: "I Didn't Expect" A Post-Racial America

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In an interview with Fusion TV, Jorge Ramos asked President Obama to expand on his recent comments that racism is "deeply rooted" in society.

Ramos told Obama says we "clearly" don't live in a post-racial society "as many expected" when he was elected.

"Well, I didn't expect that," Obama said. "You probably didn't either."

RAMOS: On another issue, the killings of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, clearly shows that we don’t live in a post-racial society as many expected when you were elected.

POTUS: Well, I didn’t expect that. You probably didn’t either, but —

RAMOS: But many people expected you probably to do more on race relations, dealing with white privilege. Do you get angry with this?

POTUS: Well, you know, I —

RAMOS: Is it your responsibility?

POTUS: I think that if you look at the history of race in America, it’s usually not a single moment when suddenly everything gets solved. It’s a process...

POTUS: Well, but, you know, the folks who say there’s not a lot improvement I don’t think were living in the ‘50s and remember what it was like to be black or Hispanic and interacting with the police then. They don’t even remember what it was like 20 years ago. There has been improvement...

RAMOS: You’ve been discriminated?

POTUS: Of course, you know, I think it’d be pretty hard to grow up in the United States of America without having any experiences of discrimination, but what I do know is in my life things have improved, and they’re going to continue to improve. And so we have to recognize that issues of racial prejudice and discrimination, they’re embedded deeply in society, and they don’t transform overnight, but each successive generation, what we’ve seen in America is we’ve seen improvement. And I’m confident that if we are focused on it and are willing to talk about these honestly, ten years from now things will be better and twenty years from now even better than that.


Full transcript here.

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