Independent- In the wake of the situation in Charleston, race was a topic discussed at length, and Obama made it clear that he feels that racism is an endemic problem and a lot bigger than positive viral videos and redefinitions of racial slurs:
"Racism, we are not cured of it. And it's not just a matter of it not being polite to say n****r in public. 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 two to 300 years prior."
You mean to tell me a black man said the 'N word'? Noooo! Call in the media. Get the local papers over here. We have a breaking news story on our hands.
Does anyone not realize what Obama just did? We do realize that he just took a podcast that nearly no one was going to pay attention to, and was able to get his point across to millions and millions of people through it. If there are two things people are tired of it is discussing race in America and listening to Obama's repetitive political stances. The use of the 'N word' just took that podcast from an automatic skip to a must-listen.
Sure, you will have plenty of people that won't be able to get past the idea that the President dropped a hard N in a public form. Those people won't get anything out of this. They won't be able to look past the utterance of racial slur, which almost lends credence to his point. Racism isn't just words. It's actions. It's institutionalized and learned. The president says it's not about the word 'n*gger', and all some people take away from it is that it's about his use of the word 'n*gger'. Context be damned. Why read the words surrounding the most offensive word in the English language?
On the other hand, you will have just as many people that will get dragged in by that headline and actual pay attention to the point that Obama was making. It's become so common place after 7 years to just let the president's words go in one ear and out the other. The people that are going to get upset about him using a racially insensitive word are the people that didn't like him to begin with. Hopefully everyone else can take something away from his rational and educated stance on race, especially during a period of racial unrest.