There's been a wave of hate incidents following the election of Donald Trump, who's earned the support of many American racists. In fact, Trump's latest foray into politics arguably began with his racist birtherism, a conspiracy claiming that President Barack Obama wasn't born in America. So by this point, it should be pretty obvious that America still has very serious problems with racism. Now, even Obama—who's been relatively chill about Trump winning the election—acknowledges he "absolutely" faced racism from "folks whose primary concern about me has been that I seem foreign."
On Wednesday night, CNN aired Fareed Zakaria's special report "The Legacy of Barack Obama." It turns out that even the leader of the free world isn't immune from racism, as the first black president explained to Zakaria.
"I think there's a reason why attitudes about my presidency among whites in Northern states are very different from whites in Southern states," Obama said in the interview, which you can watch above. "Are there folks whose primary concern about me has been that I seem foreign, the other? Are those who champion the 'birther' movement feeding off of bias? Absolutely."
Of course, the president-elect was arguably the leader of "those who champion the 'birther' movement." Obama didn't call Trump out in the interview, but he's previously noted that a lot of the GOP's campaign rhetoric was "pretty troubling and not necessarily connected to facts," which is an incredibly generous description of some of the things Trump has said.
Obama's former senior adviser David Axelrod agreed, "It's indisputable that there was a ferocity to the opposition and a lack of respect to him that was a function of race."
Some supporters were glad to see President Obama address the issue:
On the other hand, some Trump supporters took the chance to double down on their racist conspiracy theories:
Obama also discussed race more generally in the interview. "The concept of race is not just genetic," the president explained. "It's cultural. This notion of people who look different than the mainstream, suffering terrible oppression but somehow being able to make out of that a music and a language and a faith and a patriotism."