In an interview released on Monday, President Barack Obama used the n-word to emphasize the extent of racism prevailing in the country, and that there’s a lot to be done to overcome it.
According to CNN, Obama said in an interview for the podcast WTF with Marc Maron, “Racism, we are not cured of it. 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.”
The interview comes less than a week after a white supremacist opened fire inside a historically black church, an incident that killed nine people and is believed to be a hate crime. Dylann Roof, the shooter, faces nine counts of murder.
Obama will give a eulogy at the funeral of his personal friend, Clementa Pinckney, one of the victims of the mass shooting incident. Pinckney was state senator and pastor of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
Obama’s remarks reflect his willingness to address racial discrimination during the final years of his presidency.
“It’s not just a matter of overt discrimination,” he said in the interview. “Societies don’t, overnight, completely erase everything that happened 200 to 300 years prior.”
As reported by BBC, the U.S. president acknowledges that while racial discrimination has decreased in America since his childhood, the nation’s history of enslaving black people “casts a long shadow and that’s still part of our DNA that’s passed on.”
However, it is not the first time Obama used the n-word. He has used it several times before in his book Dreams from my Father.
During the interview, Obama also talked about the lack of stricter gun laws. He spoke about how “the grip of the NRA on Congress is extremely strong,” which prevented gun control from making its way to the Congress after a heinous incident in a Connecticut elementary school in 2012 that killed 20 children and six educators.
Obama said, “I will tell you, right after Sandy Hook, Newtown, when 20 6-year-olds are gunned down, and Congress literally does nothing — yes, that’s the closest I came to feeling disgusted.
“I was pretty disgusted.”
Obama also shed light on a case – currently before the Supreme Court – wherein opponents of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are raising the question as to whether 6.4 million Americans, who have received help to afford health coverage, will be authorized tax subsidies.
He said, “First of all I’m confident we’ll win, because the law is clearly on our side.”
If the ruling is in favor of the ACA’s opponents, Obama said that “five to six million people could lose their healthcare.”
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