*Naturally everybody is wondering what President Obama‘s thoughts are on the Facebook Live video showing four African-American youths in Chicago tying up, beating and torturing a white special needs student.
He called the attack a “despicable sort” of hate crime. His also responded to the idea that racial tensions haven’t gotten worse in his time as president. He pushed back and said they’ve just become more apparent because of the power of cell phone videos and social media.
He then took the opportunity to tell Chicago’s WBBM that racial incidents get more attention now “in part because we see visuals of racial tensions, violence and so forth because of smart phones and the Internet.”
The out-going president gave a round of interviews with Chicago television stations as he prepares to deliver his farewell address in his hometown next Tuesday. But the interviews were dominated by racial issues and urban violence.
“What we have seen as surfacing, I think, are a lot of problems that have been there a long time,” he said.
Meanwhile, in a separate interview with WLS-TV, he recalled the racially polarizing Chicago “Council Wars” of the 1980s.
“Some of your viewers are too young to remember this stuff. I promise you, for the most part, race relations have gotten better.”
Obama said the violence plaguing Chicago was heartbreaking, but also a “strange exception” to the national trends. And he said he want’s be “part of the solution.”
“What I intend to do is to build off of some of the work that has been in done in other cities to intervene in violence, provide better support for youth that are at risk,” he said. “And my presidential center and me personally, this is something where we want to join those who are intent on doing something about this. I want to be a part of the solution.”
Obama is building his presidential library in Chicago’s Jackson Park neighborhood.
“These are communities I know and love, and there’s so many good people there,” he told WLS. “And there are people I know who have been personally affected by levels of violence.”
You can read/learn MORE of this USA Today report at MSN News.