U.S. President Barack Obama tells NPR News that racial tensions in the U.S. are nothing new. Nathan Frandino reports.
After a year that's seen racial tensions explode across the U.S., President Barack Obama tells NPR the country is less racially divided today than when he first took office. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "I actually think that the issue has surfaced in a way that probably is healthy." The deaths of unarmed black men by white police officers has reignited the conversation on race and sparked sometimes violent demonstrations. The President says these tensions between law enforcement and minorities are nothing new. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "It's just something that hasn't been talked about, and for a variety of reasons. In some cases, something as simple as the fact that everybody has cell phones now so that you can record some of these events. It's gotten a lot of attention. I think that's good. It then points to our ability to solve these problems." The tensions deepened in New York this month when two police officers were killed by a black man. The man had written online that he was avenging the deaths of the unarmed black men killed by police this summer.