Former President Obama has said that “White resentment” prevented him from achieving financial reparations for Black Americans while he was president.
In his second episode of his new podcast, Obama claimed he believes reparations are “justified,” even though he opposed it during his 2008 campaign.
Obama said, “there’s no denying that the wealth of this country was built in part on the backs of slaves.”
He then said his proposal for reparations failed because of “the politics of White resistance and white resentment.”
“And what we witnessed during my presidency was White resentment and resistance. The discussion of ‘welfare queens.’ And the pushback against affirmative action.”
Obama continued, “All of that made the potential of proposing any kind of reparations program as, politically, potentially counterproductive.”
He then said later that it’s “perfectly understandable why working-class people who are having trouble paying their bills wouldn’t like the idea of “a massive program designed to deal with the past.”
This seems to represent a shift in his opinion on this topic, having claimed during his first campaign that “the best reparations are good schools and good jobs.”