Barack Obama
US President Barack Obama says US still has a long way to overcome racism.Getty Images

US President Barack Obama used the n-word during an interview on racism in the United States released on 22 June.

Insisting that the country still has a long way to come to overcome the deeply rooted racism, President Obama told comedian Marc Maron: "Racism, we are not cured of it. And it's not just a matter of it not being polite to say nigger in public.

"It's not just a matter of overt discrimination. Societies don't, overnight, completely erase everything that happened 200 to 300 years prior."

Reflecting on his own experience being born to a white mother and an African father, Obama said: "I always tell young people, in particular, do not say that nothing has changed when it comes to race in America, unless you've lived through being a black man in the 1950s or '60s or '70s.

"It is incontrovertible that race relations have improved significantly during my lifetime and yours [but] the legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, discrimination [still exists and casts] a long shadow and that's still part of our DNA that's passed on."

Stricter gun control

Brushing on the highly controversial gun control laws in the US, President Obama criticized the Congress for its lack of strong will to push for tighter controls.

"I will tell you, right after Sandy Hook, Newtown, when 20 six-year-olds are gunned down, and Congress literally does nothing - yes, that's the closest I came to feeling disgusted," said President Obama, reported BBC News.

"I was pretty disgusted.

"It's not enough just to feel bad. There are actions that could be taken to make events like this less likely. One of those actions we could take would be to enhance some basic common sense gun safety laws."

President Obama was referring to the 2012 mass killing in Connecticut and blamed the anti-gun-control lobbyists who he said has a "strong grip" on Congress.

The President's comments come as the country deals with what police believe to be the latest act of racial crime in Charleston, South Carolina.