President Barack Obama called the kidnapping and beating of a mentally disabled man broadcast on Facebook Live "despicable," but also said that it wasn't a sign that racial tensions in the country were worsening, reports The Hill.
Obama was alarmed by the attack, referring to it in an interview with Chicago's WLS as a "horrific hate crime."
Obama said that the incident illustrated how instances of racial strife are more visible thanks to the advent of the internet.
“In part because we see visuals of racial tensions, violence and so forth because of smartphones and the internet ... what we have seen as surfacing, I think, are a lot of problems that have been there a long time,” Obama told the CBS affiliate WBBM in Chicago.
Some on Twitter blame Obama's rhetoric for what they perceive as worsening racial tensions.
President Obama states that, what happened on facebook is pure racism. And we can't pretend that racism doesn't exist. It does.— Stacey Anne Hamilton (@anastasiakhramo) January 6, 2017
Others were heartened by the president's words on the matter.
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