Playing the race card more overtly than ever before, Barack Obama told Black Entertainment Television that racism is “deeply rooted” in the United States.
In Obama’s interview, which will be broadcast Monday evening, he intoned, “This is something that is deeply rooted in our society, it’s deeply rooted in our history. When you’re dealing with something as deeply rooted as racism or bias… you’ve got to have vigilance but you have to recognize that it’s going to take some time, and you just have to be steady so you don’t give up when we don’t get all the way there.” He warned, “This isn’t going to be solved overnight.”
Aware that his charge of racism might turn a few heads, Obama used the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner to add: “As painful as these incidents are, we can’t equate what is happening now to what was happening 50 years ago. If you talk to your grandparents, parents, uncles, they’ll tell you that things are better — not good, in some cases, but better. We have to be persistent, because typically progress is in steps. It’s in increments.”
Obama’s latest statement follows repeated allusions to racism in the United States:
Obama, January 2014: “There’s no doubt that there’s some folks who just really dislike me because they don’t like the idea of a black President.”
Obama, January 2012: “Everything we fought for during the last election is at stake in this election. The very core of what this country stands for is on the line — the basic promise that no matter what you look like, no matter where you come from, this is a place where you could make it if you try.” [emphasis added]
After the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., in 2009: “there is a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately, and that’s just a fact.”
Even Bill Clinton once accused Obama of playing the race card, in 2008: “I think that they played the race card on me. And we now know, from memos from the campaign and everything that they planned to do it all along. I was stating a fact, and it’s still a fact.”