President Obama, this nation’s first Black president, recently opened up about the racism he has faced throughout his eight-year presidency.
“I think there’s a reason why attitudes about my presidency among whites in Northern states are very different from whites in Southern states. Are there folks whose primary concern about me has been that I seem foreign ― the other? Are those who champion the birther movement feeding off of bias?” Obama asked CNN’s Fareed Zakaria.
“Absolutely,” he said.
According to Quartz, in the 2012 election, Obama fared much better among whites in the North than in the South–his national average among white voters was 39%, he got just 15% of the white vote in Alabama, and just 10% in Mississippi, versus 48% in Wisconsin and 51% in Iowa.
In the CNN Special Report “The Legacy of Barack Obama,” President Obama also said that he believes that racism isn’t the crux of the Republican party—however given President-Elect Trump’s platform, one can seriously question that belief. And even his own team sees things a little differently.
“It’s indisputable that there was a ferocity to the opposition and a lack of respect to him that was a function of race,” said David Axelrod, Obama’s former senior adviser and now a CNN senior political commentator.
He also recalled a moment when a powerful unnamed Republican said to him, “You know, we don’t really think you should be here, but the American people thought otherwise so we’re going to have to work with you.”
Zakaria also asked Obama if was comfortable with being characterized as the first African-American president, despite being bi-racial.
“I am, actually,” he said. “The concept of race in America isn’t just genetic,” but cultural, he said, claiming that human beings “who look different from the mainstream” and are “suffering terrible oppression” can out of that make “a music, a language, and a faith, and a patriotism.”
We are definitely going to miss him and the First Family in the White House.