Former President Barack Obama lashed out at right-wing media this week in an interview with CNN host Anderson Cooper, claiming that these outlets are profiting from stoking “fear and resentment” among white people toward a “changing America.” He cited the backlash to critical race theory as an example of this.
In his CNN special with Cooper, Obama claimed that many race problems are a reflection of the United States not having “fully reconciled with our history.” The former president added that it was “hard for the majority” of white Americans “to recognize you can be proud of this country and its traditions and its history and our forefathers and yet, it is also true that this terrible stuff happened.”
“The vestiges of that linger and continue,” Obama alleged, adding that his political opponents would often “not only block that story but try to exploit it for their own political gain.”
“I also think that there are certain right-wing media venues … that monetize and capitalize on stoking the fear and resentment of a White population that is witnessing a changing America and seeing demographic changes,” he said, claiming that they “do everything they can to give people a sense that their way of life is threatened and that people are trying to take advantage of them.”
“And you’re seeing it right now,” Obama continued.
Not stopping there, Obama then said that the “siloing of the media…so you don’t have just Walter Cronkite delivering the news, but you have 1,000 different venues” has “contributed to that sense that we don’t have anything in common.”
“We occupy different worlds. And it becomes that much more difficult for us to hear each other, see each other,” Obama said.
He then attacked Republicans for ignoring major issues like the economy and climate change to instead suggest that “the biggest single most important issue … right now is critical race theory.”
“Who knew that was the threat to our republic?” he said with a laugh.
Critical race theory is built around the idea that race is an underlying dynamic of all human interaction, according to The New York Post. It views the human experience as a constant power struggle between the races, often with a focus on “white privilege.”
In this same interview, Obama warned that “a lot of the dangers of cancel culture” are that we are “just going to be condemning people all the time.”