Obama Uses N-Word in Extremely Candid Discussion on Race

June 22nd 2015

Sarah Gray

On Friday, during a trip to Los Angeles, President Barack Obama stopped by comedian Marc Maron's garage as a guest on Maron's "WTF" podcast. During the hour-and-seven-minute podcast, which was released on Monday, President Obama discusses everything from his time at Occidental College in Los Angeles to gun control to his healthcare bill to climate change. The most powerful part of the interview, however, was the topic of race relations in the United States, which wove its way through the interview and included the president using the N-word to demonstrate that racism is still alive and well in the U.S. 


Talking to the President in my garage

A photo posted by @marcmaron on

Right off the bat President Obama discussed his own struggle to figure out where he fit into American culture as a Black male who was raised by a white mother. They also discussed the recent massacre in Charleston, South Carolina, and the need for more gun safety laws. Forty-five minutes into the interview, the conversation swung back around to Charleston, Baltimore, Ferguson, police brutality, and the African American community.

"I always tell young people, in particular, do not say that nothing has changed when it comes to race in America, unless you've lived through being a Black man in the 1950s or '60s or '70s," Obama told Maron. "It is incontrovertible that race relations have improved significantly during my lifetime and yours and that opportunities have opened up and that attitudes have changed. That is a fact."

"What is also true," President Obama continued, "is that the legacy of of slavery, Jim Crow, discrimination in almost in every institution of our lives. That casts a long shadow, and that's still part of our DNA that's passed on. We're not cured of it."

"Racism," Maron stated.

"Racism. We are not cured of it," Obama continued. "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 200 to 300 years prior."


This happened. Listen Monday. wtfpod.com

A photo posted by @marcmaron on

President Obama then went on to mention the speech that he gave on the anniversary of the Selma march -- saying that the march is not yet done. He also discussed how to better police and community relationships. Listen to the full hour here.