Obama Says His Presidency Did Not End Racial Divide

He never bought into the notion that we entered "a post-racial period."

Posted: 04/27/2012 11:34 AM EDT

(Photo: Courtesy Rolling Stone)

Even though Barack Obama's ascent into the White House was a huge milestone moment for the country's African-American community, the President says that he "never bought into the notion that by electing me, somehow we were entering into a post-racial period." In an interview with Rolling Stone, President Obama talks about race's role as a "fault line in American culture and American politics from the start." That said, he does acknowledge the impact his presidency has made on younger generations and the progress the country has made when it comes to race.

"When I travel around the country, a lot of people remark on how inspiring seeing an African-American president or an African-American first lady must be to Black boys and girls, how it must raise their sense of what's possible in their own lives," President Obama says. "That's hugely important — but you shouldn't also underestimate the fact that there are a whole bunch of little white girls and white boys all across the country who just take it for granted that there's an African-American president. That's the president they're growing up with, and that's changing attitudes."

"My view on race has always been that it's complicated. It's not just a matter of head — it's a matter of heart. It's about interactions. What happens in the workplace, in schools, on sports fields, and through music and culture shapes racial attitudes as much as any legislation that's passed," he continued. "I do believe that we're making slow and steady progress. When I talk to Malia and Sasha, the world they're growing up with, with their friends, it's just very different from the world that you and I grew up with."

Read the rest of the interview here and tell us, do you think President Obama's presidency has greatly shifted America's mentality about race. Sound off in the comments!


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