U.S President Barack Obama made an appearance on comedian Marc Maron’s ‘WTF’ podcast and he didn’t hold back with his thoughts on racism and gun violence in America.
The interview, recorded in Maron’s garage, featured a much more candid Obama than usual and the president opened up about his thoughts on the major issues in the aftermath of the Charleston shooting.
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.
The interview was recorded just two days after Dylann Roof opened fire inside a famous black church in South Carolina, killing nine people. And Obama said basic gun laws and regulation could prevent tragic situations like this from happening in the future.
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 packing?
I think part of the point that I wanted to make was it’s not enough just to feel bad. There are actions that can be taken to make events like this less likely. This is unique to our country, there is no other advanced nation on earth that tolerates multiple shootings on a regular basis and considers it normal.
Unsurprisingly, Obama’s outrage over the Charleston shooting was clear throughout the interview, but he also offered his thoughts on having had to deal with similar mass shootings throughout his presidency.
I’ve done this way too often. During the course of my presidency it feels as if a couple of times a year, I end up having to speak to the country and to speak to a particular community about a devastating loss. I will tell you, right after Sandy Hook, Newtown, when 20 six-year-olds are gunned down, and Congress literally does nothing — yes, that’s the closest I came to feeling disgusted. I was pretty disgusted.
You can listen to the fascinating podcast in its entirety here.