President Barack Obama went on the Late Show With David Letterman Monday to bid farewell to the host, who is nearing his final days on the air. The president weighed in on the protests in Baltimore in response to the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody. He said that racism does, in fact, play a role in such unrest, since residual effects from years of slavery, discrimination and Jim Crow still affect African-American communities, the Associated Press reports.
Obama explained that as a result of being targeted by government and police, African Americans don’t have a healthy and trusting relationship with law enforcement. He said that kind of tension is influencing the response to police killings of unarmed black people.
Obama also went on to say, however, how the nation as a whole is making “great strides” toward racial harmony and unity. “I’m a testament to that,” the president said while audience members clapped.
For most of the interview, both men joked about how they’d like to spend their retirement. Obama sees the game of dominoes in their future.
Letterman praised Obama’s comedic performance at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, and Obama took the compliment in, well, stride.
“I’m a pretty funny guy,” Obama said.
“I came up with it all myself,” the president joked when asked whether he came up with the material.
Read more at the Associated Press.