By Philips Sunday
United States, (AN24) – Outgoing President of the United States of America, Barack Obama has disclosed that he ‘absolutely’ suffered racism in office.
Obama made this comment in a special interview with Zakaria, where he added that Americans’ ‘primary concern about me has been that I seem foreign.’
According to him, “The concept of race in America is not just genetic, otherwise the one-drop rule wouldn’t have made sense.”
“It’s cultural. It’s this notion of a people who look different than the mainstream, suffering terrible oppression.
“But somehow being able to make out of that a music and a language and a faith and a patriotism,” Obama said, in a special looking back on his legacy with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria.
“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? Absolutely.”
The outgoing President said the colour of his skin had ‘absolutely’ contributed to white Americans’ negative perceptions of his time in office.
The president said: “I think there’s a reason why attitudes about my presidency among whites in Northern states are very different from whites in Southern states”.
Obama furthered he did not mind being defined as the nation’s first black president.
According to Zakaria, Obama was raised by ‘three white people’: his mother, Ann Dunham, and his grandparents, Stanley and Madelyn Dunham.
“And an Indonesian, you can throw in there”, Obama added, making reference to his stepfather, Lolo Soetoro.
Similarly, David Axelrod, a senior adviser to Obama at the White House who now runs the Chicago Institute of Politics, concurred that: “It’s indisputable that there was a ferocity to the opposition and a lack of respect to him that was a function of race,” Axelrod said.
According to Axelrod, at least one powerful Republican was personally disrespectful to Obama.
“He (the Republican)said to him (Obama), ‘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,” Axelrod said.