Obama Questions America’s Racial Tolerance in Parting Address

‘If we’re unwilling to invest in the children of immigrants just because they don’t look like us, we will diminish the prospects of our own children’

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President Obama questioned whether America is willing to "invest" in "brown kids" even as immigrants "do not look like us."

In remarks intended as a farewell to the country, Obama said that only by investing in minority children's future will America prosper.

"We will diminish the prospects of our own children because those brown kids will represent a larger and larger share of a larger and larger share of America's workforce," he said in Chicago. "If we are going to be serious about race going forward forward, we need to uphold laws against discrimination." 

"If every economic issue is framed as a struggle between a hard-working white middle class and an undeserving minority, then workers of all shades are going to be left fighting for scraps while the wealthy withdraw further into their private enclaves," he continued. "And if we are unwilling to invest in the children of immigrants just because they don’t look like us, we will diminish the prospects of our own children because those brown kids will represent a larger and larger share of a larger and larger share of America's workforce."

Obama also credited his administration for raising wages with all racial groups.

"We have shown that our economy does not have to be a zero-sum game," he said. "Last year, incomes rose for all races. All age groups. For men and for women. So, if we are going to be serious about race going forward forward, we need to uphold laws against discrimination in hiring and in housing and in education and in the criminal justice system. That is what our how highest ideals require. But laws alone won’t be enough."

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