Racism remains “a blight” on society, US President Barack Obama says, in the wake of the killing of nine African-Americans in a South Carolina church.
Police are treating the killings at the church in Charleston on Wednesday night as a hate crime. Earlier, Dylann Roof, 21, appeared in court to face nine murder charges.
He showed no emotion as relatives of the victims addressed him directly. “I forgive you” said one victim’s daughter,fighting back tears.
Speaking in San Francisco, Mr Obama said: “The apparent motivations of the shooter remind us that racism remains a blight that we have to combat together.
“We have made great progress, but we have to be vigilant because it still lingers.
“And when it’s poisoning the minds of young people, it betrays our ideals and tears our democracy apart.” Obama said.