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President Obama with daughters Malia and Sasha. (Photo by Aude Guerrucci-Pool/Getty Images)

It's complicated

Here’s how President Obama explained Trump’s election win to Sasha and Malia

By WITW Staff on November 19, 2016

New Yorker editor David Remnick has an in-depth interview with President Obama that took place entirely after the result of the presidential election, in which Donald Trump shocked the world with an upset victory over Hillary Clinton. The interview is interesting for a plethora or reasons, among them that Obama had campaigned hard for Clinton against Trump. One particularly riveting passage of the interview is how the president said he handled discussing the outcome with his daughters, 18-year-old Malia, and 15-year-old Sasha. Here’s what he said he told them.

“What I say to them is that people are complicated. Societies and cultures are really complicated. This is not mathematics; this is biology and chemistry. These are living organisms, and it’s messy,” Obama told Remnick. He continued, saying, “And your job as a citizen and as a decent human being is to constantly affirm and lift up and fight for treating people with kindness and respect and understanding. And you should anticipate that at any given moment there’s going to be flare-ups of bigotry that you may have to confront, or may be inside you and you have to vanquish. And it doesn’t stop … You don’t get into a fetal position about it. You don’t start worrying about apocalypse. You say, OK, where are the places where I can push to keep it moving forward.”

Read the full story at The New Yorker.


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