Obama 'hopeful' race relations improving in US

President Obama said in an interview broadcast Sunday that he's "hopeful" about race relations improving in the country.

Obama, who wrote a book about race and identity in America, was asked about how that book would be different if he were a young man growing up in America now.

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"In some ways, I'm able to see it through the eyes of my daughters," Obama said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

He noted his daughters had a "unique circumstance" of growing up in the White House, though, adding they're not "typical of black kids, or Latino kids, [or] other ethnic minorities around the country."

"But in some ways, I'd be more optimistic," he said.

"I look at the way in which my daughters take for granted their right to aspire to anything."

He then addressed his daughters' interactions with their white friends, noting they have a "common culture and a common language and common perspectives that were far more segregated even when I was growing up."

"And that wasn't that long ago. So in a lot of ways, I would feel more hopeful. Ironically, I think precisely because things have gotten better, what I've heard from younger African-Americans is more shock about the images and the videos from Minnesota or Baton Rouge," he continued.
 
"And what I've had to say to them is that, you know, these issues are not new. They've been there and come up periodically for quite some time."

What is new about these situations, he said, is that people now have smartphones and can capture videos of these incidents.

"And this actually gives us a greater opportunity," he said, "to try to tackle these problems."

A recent poll found that nearly 9 in 10 American voters see racial discrimination as a problem in the country.

The poll was conducted after the fatal police shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota and the deaths of five Dallas police officers, events that sparked protests across the country.