President Obama sat down with Trevor Noah of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show for a serious interview that included everything from Russia allegedly hacking the Democratic Party to helping Donald Trump in the presidency, to Obamacare, to a revealing discussion about race.
Noah asked POTUS if he ever felt the need to hide his true feelings whenever he’s called upon to speak about racism and discrimination.
“There has not been a time in my public life or my presidency where I feel as if I have had to bite my tongue,” said Obama. “There have been times in my public life where I’ve said, ‘How do I say this diplomatically? How do I say this in a way that it is received?’
“There have been very few instances where I’ve said, ‘Well that was racist. You are racist.’ [But] there have been times where I’ve said, ‘You know, uh, you might not have taken into account the ongoing legacy of racism in why we have so many black men incarcerated.’
“Now some might say, ‘Well, you’re not fully speaking truth to power because of that diplomacy.’ But, I don’t think that trying to appeal to the better angels of our nature, as Lincoln put it, is somehow compromise.
There may be times where you just have to call things out and name names, but the challenge we face today when it comes to race is rarely the overt Klansman-style racism. It typically has more to do with the fact that people got other stuff they want to talk about and it’s sort of uncomfortable. It’s somebody not getting called back for an interview, although it’s never explicit.”