07/15/2013 02:07 pm ET

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Senior Editor At The Atlantic, Discusses Obama's Reluctance To Talk About Race (VIDEO)

In the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin verdict, Ta-Nehisi Coates' interview with The Huffington Post at the Aspen Ideas festival last month is strangely prescient.

"Racism has, in a real way, decreased in this country," Coates, a senior editor at the Atlantic, told HuffPost's Ahmed Shihab-Eldin. "But on the other hand, there's still a very, very long way to go."

By way of example, he points to the polarized response to President Obama's remarks about Trayvon Martin's death -- that if he had a son, he would look "like Trayvon."

Is it surprising, then, that Obama has become the president to have talked about race the least in the last 50 years?

"It's very simple -- it's not politically advantageous at all (for him to discuss race)," Coates said in the interview. "The president exists within a system, and if he makes that decision, it doesn't mean that he doesn't necessarily think those issues are important."

Watch the entire video to hear from Coates about the Voting Rights Act, the importance of history in responding to racial issues and the Trayvon Martin case.

This video is part of a series of interviews with speakers, attendees and panelists at The Aspen Ideas Festival, produced by The Huffington Post in conjunction with The Aspen Institute. For more videos from the series, click here. For more information about The Aspen Institute, click here.