WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Barack Obama used the n-word to make a point about the reality of racism in America during an interview released Monday with comedian Marc Maron.
Obama weighed in for the podcast “WTF with Marc Maron” on the national debate on race relations and gun control that has been reignited after the Charleston shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
“Racism, we are not cured of it. And it’s not just a matter of it not being polite to say n—– in public,” Obama said. “That’s not the measure of whether racism still exists or not. It’s not just a matter of overt discrimination. Societies don’t, overnight, completely erase everything that happened 200 to 300 years prior.”
Citing his own experience as a young man who was born to a white mother and an African father, Obama said that while progress has been made, the legacy of slavery in the United States still “casts a long shadow and that’s still part of our DNA.”
Obama echoed comments he made Thursday and said that he’s had to make speeches about a “devastating loss” too often.
“It’s not enough just to feel bad. There are actions that could be taken to make events like this less likely. One of those actions we could take would be to enhance some basic common sense gun safety laws,” Obama said.
Obama lamented Congress’s lack of action on gun control and said “Unfortunately, the grip of the NRA on Congress is extremely strong. I don’t foresee any legislative action being taken in this Congress.”
CNN’s Kristen Holmes contributed to this report.