BET Exclusive: Obama Talks Race, Racism and How Far America Has to Go

President Barack Obama speaks about the recent police issues before talking about education at the Summit on College Opportunity, Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014, at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington. On Wednesday, a grand jury decided not to charge a white police officer in the chokehold death of a black man. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
 President Barack Obama speaks about the recent police issues before talking about education at the Summit on College Opportunity, Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014, at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington. On Wednesday, a grand jury decided not to charge a white police officer in the chokehold death of a black man.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Barack Obama speaks about the recent police issues before talking about education at the Summit on College Opportunity, Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014, at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

 

(BET) – Barack Obama – not the president, but the man – has a dream: his children will be viewed as individuals and judged not by the color of their skin but based on the content of their character, their behavior and their talents and gifts. Sadly, he observed in an exclusive interview with BET Networks, “misguided attitudes” mean that people of color still have less margin for error, particularly if they are male.

The good news, the president said, is that younger generations have evolved on the issue as race, which is evidenced by the sea of multi-ethnic faces in the crowds at coast-to-coast protests taking place in response to the Michael Brown and Eric Garner tragedies.

“They’ve got a better attitude and a clearer mindset and a greater empathy for what’s going on. And I think each successive generation, as it gets more understanding, more familiarity, more comfort with people of other races and other cultures, then some of this dissipates,” Obama said, referring to the “deeply rooted” racism that still plagues this nation.

Hours before the interview aired, his critics on the right began lashing out at him for, according to Breitbart News, “playing the race card more overtly than ever before.”

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