Marc Maron‘s highly-anticipated podcast interview with Barack Obama is going viral after the President used the “n-word” to make a point. Obama was speaking about the Charleston church shootings when he noted that racism still exists in America today.
“Racism, we are not cured of it,” President Obama said on Maron’s WTF Podcast. “And it’s not just a matter of it not being polite to say n—-r 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.”
President Barack Obama‘s use of the “n-word” comes just days after a 21-year-old white man, Dylann Storm Roof, allegedly shot and killed nine African-Americans during their Bible study at a historically-black church. The shootings are believed to be racially-motivated, and an apparent manifesto detailing Roof’s racist views has since surfaced online. But despite the Charleston church shootings, Obama insisted that things have gotten better for African-Americans over the past few decades.
“I always tell young people, in particular, do not say that nothing has changed when it comes to race in America, unless you’ve lived through being a black man in the 1950s or ’60s or ’70s,” the President told Marc Maron. It is incontrovertible that race relations have improved significantly during my lifetime and yours.”
Unsurprisingly, the shootings have also brought up the topic of gun control in America. The number of mass shootings in the U.S. has led to calls for laws limiting who can legally purchase a gun. And while Barack Obama’s use of the “n-word” on the WTF Podcast has drawn most of the headlines, the President also made sure to emphasize the need for new gun legislation during his Marc Maron interview.
“I’ve done this way too often,” Obama told the comedian. “During the course of my presidency it feels as if a couple times a year I end up having to speak to the country and speak to a particularly community about a devastating loss … But part of the point I wanted to make is, it’s not enough just to feel bad. There are actions that could be taken to make events like this less likely. And one of those actions we could take would be to enhance some basic, common-sense gun safety laws.”
But while President Obama does see progress in racism over the past few decades, he doubts the Charleston church shooting will move the needle on gun control.
“Is there a way of accommodating that legitimate set of traditions with some common sense stuff that prevents a 21-year-old, who is angry about something, or confused about something, or is racist or is deranged, from going into a gun store and suddenly is packin’, and can do enormous harm,” the President concluded to Marc Maron. “And that’s something we’ve ever fully come to terms with. Unfortunately the grip of the NRA on Congress is extremely strong. I don’t foresee any legislative action in this Congress.”
Listen to Barack Obama’s interview with Marc Maron, including the President’s use of the “n-word,” here.