In an interview with CNN, journalist Fareed Zakaria questioned the leader of the free world on his view of certain discriminatory moments throughout his presidency, primarily the subject of the “birther” movement and Donald Trump’s constant inquiry on Obama’s birth certificate. “I think there’s a reason why attitudes about my presidency among the whites in northern states are very different from whites in southern states,” Obama said. “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.”
— CNN (@CNN) December 8, 2016
Former senior advisor to Obama, David Axelrod, also spoke on being a second-hand witness to the racism that the 55-year-old faced, and how he battled internally with being president while remaining a figurehead for the black community.
“He never ran to be the first black president. He ran to be the president of the United States and he happens to be black,” he said. “He needed to become a force for healing, and finding the right way to do that was something that he wrestled with.”