Obama: "I Was Black Before The Election"

NEW YORK (AFP) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday poked fun at claims that racism was behind fierce opposition to his ambitious political agenda, joking that "I was actually black before the election."

It was the latest attempt by Obama to tone down the debate, after former U.S. president Jimmy Carter commented that much of the conservative fury directed at Obama's health care plans was motivated by racism.

Obama said on the "The Late Show" with David Letterman on CBS that the fact he was elected as America's first African-American president at all was a more accurate indicator of wider race relations in the country.

"I think it's important to realize that I was actually black before the election."

"One of the things that you sign up for in politics is that folks yell at you," the president said, in a taping for the show due to air later on Monday.

"Whenever a president tries to bring about significant changes, particularly during times of economic unease, there is a certain segment of the population that gets very riled up."

Obama also said in a more serious vein that Americans were weary of the war in Afghanistan, and said U.S. troops were performing heroically there and in Iraq.


Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.