In a new episode of his Spotify podcast, Barack Obama opened up for the first time about being called a racial slur by one of his own friends while in high school. While discussing race with Bruce Springsteen (because Obama gets the good guests), the former president recalled the locker room fight that started with racism and ended with a broken nose. According to Obama, the former friend called him a “c**n,” which at first struck him as odd because, “Now first of all, ain’t no c**ns in Hawaii, right?” and then led to him making it clear that he wouldn’t tolerate that kind of talk. Via The Hill:
“It’s one of those things that where he might not even known what a c–n was — what he knew was, ‘I can hurt you by saying this,'” Obama, 59, continued.
The country’s first Black president added with a laugh, “And I remember I popped him in the face and broke his nose and we were in the locker room.”
After the punch, Obama recalled telling the boy, “Don’t you ever call me something like that,” before launching into his wider thoughts that using racial slurs is still so pervasive today because it’s “an assertion of status over the other.” Obama then explained to Springsteen that that mindset opens the door to all kinds of terrible actions. “That basic psychology that then gets institutionalized, is used to justify dehumanizing somebody, taking advantage of ’em, cheatin’ ’em, stealin’ from ’em, killin’ ’em, raping ’em,” Obama warned as the specter of Donald Trump’s presidency and his rabid support from white supremacists still hangs in the air.
(Via The Hill)