President Barack Obama may have shocked people by using the N-word, but he did so to make a very clear, strong point about racism.
Just two days after the massacre shooting at a Charleston, S.C., church, Obama went on Marc Maron's WTF podcast to discuss a variety of topics, but most poignantly, the state of racism in our country. Nearly 45 minutes into the podcast, which was released Monday, Maron asked Obama where we are currently compared to when he entered the White House.
"I always tell young people in particular: Do not say that nothing's changed when it comes to race in America unless you lived through being a black man in the 1950s or '60s or '70s," Obama began. "It is incontrovertible that race relations have improved significantly during my lifetime and yours." Then, on a less hopeful note, Obama said, "What is also true is that the legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, discrimination in almost every institution of our lives — that casts a long shadow. That's still part of our DNA that's passed on."
He continued, "Racism, we are not cured of it. And it's not just a matter of it not being polite to say n----- 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. ... Progress is real and we have to take hope from that progress, but what is also real is that the march isn't over and the work is not yet completed."
What do you think of Obama's use of the N-word?