Obama says ‘sure right-wing media’ outlets are ‘stoking the fear and resentment’ of white Americans

Progress has been made, former President Barack Obama told CNN’s Anderson Cooper, however he finds it is nonetheless arduous for the “majority” of white Americans to “recognize you can be proud of this country and its traditions and its history and our forefathers, and yet it is also true that this terrible stuff happened. The vestiges of that linger and continue.”

Obama informed Cooper, in an interview broadcast Monday night time, that in his time in workplace, when he “tried to tell that story, oftentimes my political opponents would deliberately not only block out that story but try to exploit it for their own political gain.”

In 2009, Obama commented on Massachusetts law enforcement officials detaining Harvard Prof. Henry Louis Gates, who’s Black, whereas he was making an attempt to enter his own residence, saying Cambridge police “acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home.” Obama informed Cooper his ballot numbers dropped with white voters after he made these remarks, and that “gives a sense of the degree to which these things are still … they’re deep in us. And, you know, sometimes unconscious.”

There are additionally “certain right-wing media venues, for example, that monetize and capitalize on stoking the fear and resentment of a white population that is witnessing a change in America,” Obama stated. The nationalization of media and politics is making it so Americans are occupying “different worlds,” he informed Cooper, and when folks are this divided, it “becomes that much more difficult for us to hear each other, see each other. We have more economic stratification and segregation. You combine that with racial stratification and the siloing of the media, so you don’t have just Walter Cronkite delivering the news, but you have 1,000 different venues. All that has contributed to that sense that we don’t have anything in common.”

To attempt to bridge the divide, Obama stated, Americans want to have the ability to see one another in particular person, to carry face-to-face conversations. “The question now becomes, how do we create those venues, those meeting places for people to do that?” he continued. “Because right now, we don’t have them and we’re seeing the consequences of that.”

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