“We go to the White House and talk to Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama, about everything from gun control to Hamilton to Kendrick Lamar.”
This is the most candid, raw, and revealing interview I’ve ever heard Valerie Jarrett give. It’s worth listening to if only for the incredible anecdote revealed about racism her father experienced as a doctor in the U.S. and the income inequality that catapulted her parents move to Iran, where she was born. The interview starts ~9 min mark and goes until ~41-minute mark.
If you have issues fast forwarding….just move your mouse to Ep.37 The Room Where it Happens: and click (it will open a new tab with FF & Rewind at the bottom)
“….One could assumethe first black president and America’s most prominent rapper were pondering the power of their positions. To understand the significance of the moment, look no further than Lamar’s critically acclaimed sophomore album, “To Pimp A Butterfly.” Immediately notable is the subversive cover artThe cover features the Compton, California, rapper in front of the White House, surrounded by a bloc of young black men, pulsating a jubilant, defiant and unapologetically black energy. The group crowds around a dead white judge with a gavel in his hand, symbolizing the systemic racism in the criminal justice system.
Obama has spoken out about this issue before, including the need to address disparate treatment of black people in America. Most recently, he discussed it in the context of the Black Lives Matter movement. “I think the reason the organizers used the phrase ‘black lives matter’ was not because they were suggesting that nobody else’s lives matter,” the president said. “Rather, what they were suggesting was that there is a specific problem that is happening in the African-American community that is not happening in other communities. And that is a legitimate issue that we’ve got to address.”