President Obama calls African-Americans a ‘mongrel people’Submitted by bobbyw24 on Thu, 07/29/2010 - 14:32
By Sam Youngman - 07/29/10 11:00 AM ET
NEW YORK — President Obama waded into the national race debate in an unlikely setting and with an unusual choice of words: telling daytime talk show hosts that African-Americans are “sort of a mongrel people.”
The president appeared on ABC’s morning talk show “The View” Thursday, where he talked about the forced resignation of Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod, his experience with race and his roots.
When asked about his background, which includes a black father and white mother, Obama said of African-Americans: "We are sort of a mongrel people."
"I mean we're all kinds of mixed up," Obama said. "That's actually true of white people as well, but we just know more about it."
The president's remarks were directed at the roots of all Americans. The definition of mongrel as an adjective is defined as "of mixed breed, nature, or origin," according to dictionary.com.
Obama did not appear to be making an inflammatory remark with his statement and the audience appeared to receive it in the light-hearted manner that often accompanies interviews on morning talk shows.
The race debate was reignited after Sherrod’s firing. Obama also addressed the issue in his speech to the National Urban League 100th Anniversary Convention in Washington on Thursday morning.
But in his interview on “The View,” which was taped Wednesday but aired Thursday, the president said the Sherrod story was prompted when the media "generated a phony controversy."
"A lot of people overreacted, including people in my administration," he said.
Obama called Sherrod last week after Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack apologized for her firing.