In a special reflection on his legacy with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, outgoing U.S. President, Barack Obama revealed he ‘absolutely’ suffered racism in office, adding that Americans’ ‘primary concern about me has been that I seem foreign.’
In his words, “The concept of race in America is not just genetic, otherwise the one-drop rule wouldn’t have made sense.”
“It’s cultural. It’s this notion of a people who look different than the mainstream, suffering terrible oppression.
“But somehow being able to make out of that a music and a language and a faith and a patriotism,”
“I think there’s a reason why attitudes about my presidency among whites in Northern states are very different from whites in Southern states.
“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.”
Obama said the colour of his skin had ‘absolutely’ contributed to white Americans’ negative perceptions of his time in office.
The president said: “I think there’s a reason why attitudes about my presidency among whites in Northern states are very different from whites in Southern states”.
Obama told Zakaria in the special interview on his legacy that was taped in September that he did not mind being defined as the nation’s first black president.