Washington (dpa) – Racism against African-Americans is deeply rooted in American society and history, US President Barack Obama said in an advance release of an interview to be broadcast on the BET television network on Monday.
After repeated cases of white police officers using excessive force against African Americans, the role that racism may play in the problem has come to the fore. The recent incidents and their judicial outcomes have led to protests nationwide.
“As painful as these incidents are, we can’t equate what’s happening now to what was happening 50 years ago,” Obama said. Widespread injustice against African Americans led in the middle 1950s to the civil rights movement in the US.
“If you talk to your parents, grandparents, uncles, they will tell you that things are better – not good … but better,” Obama said, adding that previous achievements need to be acknowledged in order to make further progress.
In recent weeks Obama – along with his departing attorney general Eric Holder, who is also black – has taken steps to address the race problems between police and citizens around the country.