President Barack Obama says some people "really dislike me" because they don't like the idea of a black man occupying the Oval Office. But, he admits, that's not the whole story.
"Now, the flip side of it is there are some black folks and maybe some white folks who really like me and give me the benefit of the doubt precisely because I’m a black president," Obama told The New Yorker
in an interview published Sunday.
Obama's election in 2008 was heralded by some as ending the racial divide in the United States, but the country has become even more divided during his presidency. Though he won re-election in 2012, his margin of white support was the worst of any presidential victor in U.S. history, The New Yorker noted.
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"The popular opposition to the administration comes largely from older whites who feel threatened, underemployed, overlooked, and disdained in a globalized economy and in an increasingly diverse country," the article said.
Obama said in the interview that opposition to large federal powers does not make make one racist, but he said supporters of states' rights should also acknowledge the history tied to that philosophy, which was key to southern thinking during the Civil War and the civil rights movement.
Conservatives should understand, he said, that his not wanting to leave Medicare in states' hands "may not simply be because I am this power-hungry guy in Washington who wants to crush states’ rights," but because he wants to ensure everyone is treated the same.
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