Obama: Like Rest Of America, Black America "Better Off Now Than It Was When I Came Into Office"


APRIL RYAN, AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORKS: Thank you, Mr. President. Last question, I guess. Mr. President, six years ago this month I asked you what was the state of black America, in the Oval Office, and you said it was the best of times and the worst of times. You said it was the best of times in a sense that there was -- there has never been more opportunity for African-Americans to receive a good education and the worst of times because of unemployment and lack of opportunity. Well, ending 2014, what is the state of black America as we talk about those issues as well as race relations in this country?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Like the rest of America, black America in the aggregate is better off now than it was when I came into office.

The jobs that have been created, the people who have gotten health insurance, the housing equity that's been recovered, the 401 pensions that have been recovered. A lot of those folks are African-American. They're better off than they were. The gap between income and wealth of white and black America persists. And we've got more work to do on that front.

I've been consistent in saying that, you know, this is a legacy of a troubled racial past, of Jim Crow and slavery. That's not an excuse for black folks, and I think the overall majority of black people understand it's not an excuse. They're working hard. They're out there hustling and trying to get an education, trying to send their kids to college, but they're starting behind oftentimes in the race.

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