Blunt language on race: President Obama N-Word

Published: June 22, 2015

Blunt language on race: President Obama N-Word, President Barack Obama says the United States has not overcome its history of racism and is using the N-word to make his case.

In an interview last week with Highland Park comedian Marc Maron for his “WTF With Marc Maron” podcast, Obama weighed in on the debate over race and guns that has erupted after the arrest of a white man for the racially motivated shooting deaths of nine black church members in Charleston, South Carolina.

“Racism, we are not cured of it,” Obama said. “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.”

Obama’s remarks came during an interview he recorded last week during his visit to Southern California.

Maron told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO the president was merely making “a powerful point about racism” and that it’s “a little silly” to remove the president’s usage of the word from the context of the larger discussion.

“That word has been used by comedians and people in different contexts for a long time, and I think he was using it to make a point and not using it as a hateful slang word,” said Maron.

The president said while attitudes about race have improved significantly since he was born to a white mother and black father, the legacy of slavery “casts a long shadow and that’s still part of our DNA that’s passed on.”

Obama also expressed frustration that “the grip of the NRA on Congress is extremely strong” and prevented gun control from advancing in Congress after 20 children and six educators were massacred in a Connecticut elementary school in 2012.

“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,” he said. “I was pretty disgusted.”


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