Obama: "One Thing I Never Believed Was The Fever Of Racism Being Broken By My Election" | Video | RealClearPolitics

Obama: "One Thing I Never Believed Was The Fever Of Racism Being Broken By My Election"

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Former President Barack Obama told NPR in an interview that he never subscribed to the idea that we live in a "post-racial era" and that his election would help to end racism.

"Here's one thing I never believed, right, was the fever of racism being broken by my election," Obama said. "That I was pretty clear about. I never subscribed to the: We live in a post-racial era."

"I think that what did happen during my presidency was yes, a backlash among some people who felt that somehow, I symbolized the possibility that they or their group were losing status not because of anything I did, but just by virtue of the fact that I didn't look like all the other presidents previously," the former president told NPR.


NPR: We have to talk about the role that race played in your presidency. The book is filled with a lot of joy. I mean, it has to be said, a lot of joy, a lot of wonderful moments where you figured out who you were, what your purpose was, when you found your family and grew your family. But it's also filled with a lot of frustration and pain. And a lot of the pain in that book does center on how the fact of your being the first Black president affected the country in some ways that were positive in some ways that clearly were not. I mean, to this day, there are some progressives who say that you laid the groundwork for the Trump era in part because of something you couldn't control, which is racism, and something that you possibly could have. It's just things weren't changing fast enough. So, the question I'd have for you is what, what would break the fever? I mean, it's almost as if it's a fever, it's like a virus that just keeps recurring. What would change that in your view?

FORMER PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Here's one thing I never believed, right, was the fever of racism being broken by my election.

That I was pretty clear about. I never subscribed to the: We live in a post-racial era. But I think that what did happen during my presidency was yes, a backlash among some people who felt that somehow, I symbolized the possibility that they or their group were losing status not because of anything I did, but just by virtue of the fact that I didn't look like all the other presidents previously. But, you know what? You also had a majority of the American people who seemed to say either, it's a good thing that we've broken this barrier, or "I'm just going to judge this guy by whether or not my life's getting better." And you had a whole generation of kids who grew up not thinking it was weird or exceptional that the person who occupied the highest office in the land was Black.
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