Reps. Xavier Becerra and Cedric Richmond weighed in on President Barack Obama's surprise Friday-morning speech about race relations and agreed a national dialogue on the issue is necessary.
"I don't think you can legislate attitude," Becerra of California said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union." "I've never seen a president of the United States address it personally, and that's a big difference. That makes you think a lot more when your own president says that, and, hopefully, that's what helps us change attitude."
Obama's personal anecdotes about being a black man in America and the realities that come with it, as well as likening himself to Trayvon Martin, resonated with Richmond.
"The president said that was him 35 years ago,” the Louisiana Democrat said. "That’s me on a daily basis. As a black man, it is very, very frustrating. You build up an internal anger about it that you can't act on."
Richmond said, "I don’t think people outside African-American males can really sense the frustration and the anger when it happens. We can't stop either racism or attitudes, and that, I think, will come from a dialogue."
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