President Obama on Thursday said it would be "mind-boggling" to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. that a black man was elected president.
The nation's first black president made the comment on "The Yolanda Adams Morning Show" a day after speaking at a 50th anniversary celebration of the March on Washington and King's "I have a dream" speech.
Obama said, despite his election, the nation hasn't done enough to address "the inequality that still exists," but his election highlights that the nation had "made incredible progress in civil rights," he added.
Still, if King were alive today, Obama said he would note the inequality and inner city poverty that still exists.
The president said that he hoped to establish early childhood education programs and help rebuild housing and transportation infrastructure in poor neighborhoods.
Obama said "those are things that require legislative effort," comparing the fight against congressional gridlock to the challenges faced by lawmakers who wanted to free the slaves or pass the Civil Rights Act.
"Right now, obviously, there’s a lot of gridlock in Washington, but we just got to keep on pressing, remembering that, you know, it took decades between the time of the Emancipation Proclamation being signed, and the Civil Rights Act being passed, and then it took another couple of decades before the enforcement was real," Obama said.