Morgan Freeman’s latest comments in defense of President Barack Obama against his opponents will likely be overshadowed by his controversial take on Obama’s racial identity — it’s definitely a feather ruffler.
While talking to NPR about his latest movie, The Magic of Belle Isle, the conversation turned to politics and the President's critics. That's when the actor said he thought Obama should not be called America’s first Black president.
“First thing that pops into my head regarding our president is that all of the people who are setting up this barrier…they just conveniently forget that Barack had a mama, and she was white — very white American, Kansas, middle of America,” Freeman told NPR. “There was no argument about who he is or what he is. America’s first Black president hasn’t arisen yet. He’s not America’s first Black president — he’s America’s mixed-race president.”
In the interview, The Dark Knight Rises star goes on to say that he has been disappointed by the Republican Party and Obama opponents' unfair treatment of the President. But Freeman's comments about the Obama's level of Blackness — which will certainly be viewed as offensive by many — opens a Pandora's box discussion on race. Like, when did being biracial not make you Black? Shouldn’t it be a biracial person’s choice to choose how he or she is identified? And can there ever be an all-“Black” president in this country given America’s race mixing history due to slavery?
Maybe one day Freeman will elaborate more fully on this topic. In the meantime, comments by website and blog commenters should definitely fill the void.
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(Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for AFI)