SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- President Barack Obama says racism is deeply rooted in the US society and history and that the issue is “not going to be solved overnight.”
Obama made the remarks in an interview scheduled to be broadcast on Monday evening while commenting on the racial discrimination spotlighted by recent grand jury decisions not to indict white police officers in the killings of unarmed black men.
“This is something that’s deeply rooted in our society, it’s deeply rooted in our history,” Obama told BET News in the interview.
“But the two things that are going to allow us to solve it: No. 1 is the understanding that we have made progress. And so it’s important to recognize—as painful as these incidents are—we can’t equate what’s happening now to what was happening 50 years ago,” he added.
“If you talk to your parents, grandparents, uncles, they’ll tell you that things are better—not good, in some cases, but better,” continued Obama, who himself is African American and knows what racism and discrimination are all about.
White police officer Darren Wilson shot dead black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in August and white officer Daniel Pantaleo killed Eric Garner in New York City in July.
Unlike the fatal shooting of Brown, the chokehold death of Garner, a father of six and grandfather of two, was recorded on videos that have been widely seen and have contributed to the public outrage. In the video, Garner repeatedly told police officers “I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!”
US police shoot and kill an average of 1,000 people a year, 1 in 4 of whom unarmed, according to a report by the Police Policy Studies Council.
Based on a recent study by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, 313 black people were killed in 2012 by police officers, private security guards and members of the public and in most cases, the perpetrator was not indicted.
In an interview with Press TV on April 16, 2012, Malcolm X’s grandson, El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, said that blacks are murdered with impunity in the US because the system is unjust.
“There are hundreds of black Americans who are being murdered in the United States every year with impunity. And police officers serve no time. They always get off,” Shabazz stated.
He said this occurs because there is institutionalized racism in the United States.
Shabazz was beaten to death in Mexico City on May 9, 2013. An autopsy found that the 28-year-old died of deadly blows to the head, face and torso.