I love Morgan Freeman as an actor. There’s nobody quite like him, and I’ve liked pretty much every movie he’s acted in, largely because of him. Of course he’s not perfect. Nobody is. But how could he say things like this — and still remain credible?
OK, I was disappointed when I heard him refer to the Tea Party as racists. And the reason for this? Because the Tea Party supposedly wanted to see President Obama lose this November. It sure is fun, isn’t it? Calling people nasty names because they take principled political stands on issues — just because those principles happen to be opposed by a President who happens to be black? I wonder if Republicans could get away with this? Say, if Mitt Romney gets elected, could the Republicans get away with calling those people who voted for Obama racists? Because Romney is white? Nah.
But his latest pronouncement is simply amazing, as well as disappointing. In an interview with NPR, Mr. Freeman said that Obama isn’t actually our first black President. He’s our first “mixed-race President”. And why? Because Obama’s mother was white! You could have knocked me over with a feather. Don’t believe me? Here, have a listen:
The reason I felt that this outrageous is that I know something about discrimination. As white as I am, one of my great great grandmothers was American Indian. Her children were all “Half-Breeds” and treated even more disrespectfully by the whites than their full-blood cousins. Mixed race, indeed! So Obama is a “half-breed”? That is what Mr. Freeman just said. Not in so many words, but can you say “code words”?
Another situation came to my mind after hearing Mr. Freeman’s words. Apartheid. If you don’t know what that means, count yourself fortunate, but read about it HERE.
Back in the mid-60’s my family lived for a time in Toronto, Canada due to my father’s employment. In my high school I had a friend and fraternity brother named Dion. He was from South Africa. But he was not white, neither was black. In South African terms, by legal definition, Dion and his family were all “colored”. Under Apartheid Dion had certain privileges not enjoyed by his black cousins, and had certain privileges enjoyed by whites withheld. They emigrated from South Africa because of Apartheid, because they were “mixed-race” or “half-breeds”. They were second-class citizens in the land of their birth.
This is what I was astonished to hear, that Morgan Freeman could call Barack Obama a “half-breed” or a “mulatto“, simply by using another euphemism, “mixed-race”, and get away with it.
But to cut to the chase, to Morgan Freeman at least, Barack Obama isn’t black enough.