Obama: Americans ‘Should Not Be Shy’ Talking About Our ‘Ugly History’ of Racism, Slavery

‘We are the only country in the advanced world that makes it harder to vote, rather than easier’

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In his final press conference, President Obama encouraged Americans to "not be shy" about discussing the country's "ugly history" of slavery, racism, and voter suppression.

After being asked what worries him the most about America's future, Obama gave an extended answer on voter ID laws, which he said are premised on the "fake news" over voter fraud.

Here's an excerpt:

OBAMA: "I worry about, as I said in response to a previous question, making sure that the basic machinery of our democracy works better. We are the only country in the advanced world that makes it harder to vote, rather than easier. And that dates back — there is an ugly history to that that we should not be shy about talking about.”
REPORTER: “Voting rights?”
OBAMA: “Yes, I am talking about voting rights. The reason that we are the only country among advanced democracies that makes it harder to vote, it traces directly back to Jim Crow and the legacy of slavery. And it became sort of acceptable to restrict the franchise, and that is not who we are. That shouldn’t be who we are. That is not when America works best. So I hope that people pay a lot of attention to making sure that everybody has a chance to vote.”

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