President Obama called the Chicago torture case a “hate crime” on Thursday.
“It’s terrible,” he said of the attack by four black teens on a white special needs man.
"We've seen over the last several years, when it comes to tensions between police and communities, the Internet, horrific hate crimes of the sort that we appear to have seen on Facebook today," Obama said in an interview with ABC Chicago affiliate WLS.
The president went on to say he believes technology can help expose racism and hatred in America.
"Part of what technology allows us to see now is the terrible toll that racism and discrimination and hate takes on families and communities," he said. "But that's part of how we learn and how we get better."
Overall, however, the president said he’s optimistic about the next generation’s views about race.
"We don't benefit from pretending that racism doesn't exist and hate doesn't exist. We don't benefit form not talking about it. The fact that these things are being surfaced means we can solve them. But overall, what I've seen as president in traveling around the country, is particularly the next generation, young people, their appreciation of people different than them (who) come from different places, have different backgrounds, my daughter's generation, they're far more sophisticated about race, far more tolerant and embracing of diversity. So I think that over the long arc, America will keep on getting better."