Bakari Sellers: Obama’s Right; ‘Racism’ Is ‘More than Just a Passive Use of a Derogatory Term’

‘We are talking about institutional and systemic racism’

CAMEROTA: “President Obama makes bold statements about racism on a radio show and he uses what some consider offensive language to do so. What do his statements mean to Charleston and to the debate over the confederate flag? Let's talk about all of this with Bakari Sellers. He is a former South Carolina state representative and attorney. Mr. Sellers thanks for being here.”

SELLERS: “Thank you for having me, Alisyn.”

CAMEROTA: “I want to get right to the president's interview. This was just released. He sat down for a radio interview with Marc Maron on his radio show. And it’s notable for several reasons. First, he speaks very candidly about racism, and he uses the ‘N’-word to do so. So listen to this.”

[clip starts]

MARON: “Racism.”

OBAMA: "Racism, we are not cured of it.”

MARON: “Clearly.”

OBAMA: "And it's not just a matter of it not being polite to say nigger in public. That's not the measure of whether racism still exists or not. It's not just a matter of overt discrimination. Societies don't, overnight, completely erase everything that happened 200 to 300 years prior."

[clip ends]

CAMEROTA: “What are your thoughts on what he says there?”

SELLERS: “Well, I thought the president was correct. He didn't mince terms. We’re talking about racism being more than just a passive use of a derogatory term. We’re talking about institutional and systemic racism. I think the people fail to realize the shadow -- the long shadow that slavery, Jim Crow, segregation and oppression have in this country.”

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