Barack Obama just can’t help himself.
His divisive rhetoric about race has pitted Americans against one another.
And in one of his final interviews as President, Obama leveled a shocking criticism at America.
Racial controversies have plagued Obama from his first year in office.
From claiming the police acted “stupidly” when they detained a Harvard professor they thought was breaking into what turned out to be his own home, to his controversial comments about Trayvon Martin, to his all-out embrace of the racially charged Black Lives Matter movement, Obama has stoked racial anxiety and divided America.
And from one interview, it appears he intends on closing his Presidency in the same manner.
In an interview with Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, Obama was asked about how he managed to balance speaking his true feelings on race and not offending many Americans.
Breitbart reports on his response:
“You know, my general theory is that, if I was clear in my own mind about who I was, comfortable in my own skin and had clarity about the way in which race continues to be this powerful factor in so many elements of our lives. But, that it is not the only factor in so many aspects of our lives, that we have, by no means overcome the legacies of slavery and Jim Crow and colonialism and racism, but that the progress we’ve made has been real and extraordinary — if I’m communicating my genuine belief that those who are not subject to racism can sometimes have blind spots or lack of appreciation of what it feels to be on the receiving end of that, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not open to learning and caring about equality and justice and that I can win them over because there is goodness in the majority of people.
Another way of saying this is there has not been a time in my public life or my presidency where I feel as if I have had to bite my tongue. There have been times in my public life where I’ve said, “How do I say this diplomatically? How do I say this, as you indicated, in a way that it’s received?”
So there have been very few instances where I’ve said, “Well, that was racist, you are racist.” There have been times where I’ve said, “You know, you might not have taken into account the ongoing legacy of racism in why we have so many black men incarcerated. And since I know that you believe in the Constitution and believe in justice and believe in liberty, how about if we try this?”
Critics argue that while of course America has problems, Obama is living proof of progress.
He was twice elected in convincing fashion and is leaving office with an approval rating in the high 50’s.
But he can’t help himself but take pot shots at America.
And if there is any blame to go around for America not being able to move past racial issues, Obama has no further to look than his own mirror.
The American people give him poor marks on racial tensions.
A Pew poll found 28% of Americans stated Obama tried but did not succeed in easing racial tensions, and 25% said he made things worse.
That adds up to 53% of Americans giving Obama a failing grade at addressing America’s racial divide.
Do you agree with Obama that America has been unable to shake off its past racial issues?
Let us know what you think in the comment section.