Donald Trump could benefit from a visit to the new Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture if he believes black voters have never been worse off than they are today, President Barack Obama said in an interview airing Friday.
"I think even most 8-year-olds'll tell you that whole slavery thing wasn't very good for black people," the president told ABC's "Good Morning America" co-anchor Robin Roberts in an interview recorded at the museum Thursday and airing on Friday.
"Jim Crow wasn't very good for black people," he continued.
The GOP nominee has said in speeches to members of the African-American community that they have nothing, that their communities are worse off than ever because of the lack of education and jobs and because of violence.
"Honestly, places like Afghanistan are safer than some of our inner cities," Trump said during a rally in North Carolina this week.
Obama continued that it's important for white Americans to understand that there was "lawful segregation in this country just a decade ago," and discrimination has not changed.
"It's unrealistic to think that somehow that all just completely went away, because the Civil Rights Act was passed or because Oprah's making a lot of money or because I was elected president," said Obama.
"That's not how society works. And if you have hundreds of years of racial discrimination it's likely that the vestiges of that discrimination linger on. And we should acknowledge that and own that."
Obama, appearing on the morning show with his wife, Michelle, said it's important to point out that the museum didn't come from his own initiative. They thanked all those who helped with the museum before Obama took office, including former President George W. Bush and museum director Lonnie Bunch.
He further said he and the first lady are "humbled" to be part of the story in the museum, including an exhibit that speaks about his life, but he believes they are "just a pretty small part" of the nation's history.
"We were an outgrowth of Frederick Douglass and white abolitionists who partnered with him," Obama said. "We were the consequence of these Freedom Riders. Of all races. Young people idealistically coming down here and being willing to challenge an unjust system."
Meanwhile, Obama praised Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton as being a dedicated candidate who is "motivated by a deep desire to make things better for people," but she does have some unique challenges in her campaign.
"I think there is a reason we haven't had a woman president before and so she is having to break down some barriers," he said. "There is a level of mistrust and a caricature of her that doesn't jibe with who I know, this person that cares deeply about kids, and wants to make sure they get a good education and wants to make working families have support and wants everyone to succeed and wants to keep America safe."
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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