Over the last few years cell phone cameras and increased use of police body cameras have captured many police shootings of unarmed Black Americans, making racial tensions in this country a major talking point during the 2016 presidential election. President Barack Obama sat down with John Dickerson at the White House for an interview that aired on Sunday's broadcast of Face the Nation. Dickerson asked the president about a passage from one of his books where he described his experience of not being watched while visiting Africa as a young man.
"There aren't a lot of African American males who haven't at some point in their lives been subject to additional scrutiny or suspicion because of their race." Obama said and added, "That's just a common experience that many of us share."
The president, however, remained optimistic saying "But I will tell you that it's a lot better now than it was."
While Obama warned that Americans should not be "complacent," he told Dickerson that in speaking with many of the protestors from Ferguson and Minnesota he encourages them to think about how they can bring about real change.
"That involves legislation. It involves changing police practices. And that involves doing your homework, sitting down and negotiating. It involves showing respect for the challenges that police officers have in protecting us." Obama said.
Obama also remained hopeful in spite of the horrific shootings that have gained widespread attention in the last two years.
"I actually see more constructive dialogue taking place, and more concrete proposals, and police departments taking more seriously than they ever have in the past. And that's a good thing."