Former President Barack Obama spoke out this week in an interview with late night host Conan O’Brien to reveal what he wants to instill in his two daughters amidst a divided nation.
“Everything right in front of us always looks like just the worst thing,” said Obama, 59. “What I always tell young people is, if you examine history, then you come to the conclusion that as terrible as things are, the world is healthier, better educated, kinder on average than just about any time in human history.”
“The problem is we just don’t make progress in a straight line. We have to be vigilant. We have to work hard. We have to push and be resilient,” he added. “That is what I hope I’ve instilled, not just in my daughters, and Michelle’s instilled in our daughters, I hope that our body of work that continues is instilling in young people that sense of, ‘Yeah, it’s hard. You’re not going to get a hundred percent of what you’re hoping for. There’ll still be injustice and racism and ignorance, but you can make things better.'”
Obama previously told People Magazine that his daughters Malia and Sasha felt “the need to participate” in the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality.
“I didn’t have to give them a lot of advice because they had a very clear sense of what was right and what was wrong and [of] their own agency and the power of their voice and the need to participate,” Obama said back in November.
“Malia and Sasha found their own ways to get involved with the demonstrations and activism that you saw with young people this summer, without any prompting from Michelle and myself, on their own initiative,” Obama added. “They didn’t do it in a way where they were looking for limelight. They were very much in organizer mode. I could not have been prouder of them.”