I didn’t say it. Morgan Freeman said it. In an interview with NPR to promote his latest film, The Magic of Belle Isle, the popular Oscar-winning actor said that people “conveniently forget that Barack had a mama, and she was white — very white American, Kansas, middle of America 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 first mixed-race president.”
Freeman implied that it’s Obama’s white side that’s the problem. This clearly fits the definition of racism: an ideology of racial superiority and hierarchy.
Freeman wasn’t the first person to comment on the blackness of President Obama. A TIME magazine opinion piece from 2007 carried the title “Is Obama Black Enough?” The article cited comments similar to those of Freeman:
“‘Obama’s mother is of white U.S. stock. His father is a black Kenyan,’ Stanley Crouch recently sniffed in a New York Daily News column entitled ‘What Obama Isn’t: Black Like Me.’ ‘Black, in our political and social vocabulary, means those descended from West African slaves,’ wrote Debra Dickerson on the liberal website Salon.
Writers like TIME and New Republic columnist Peter Beinart have argued that Obama is seen as a ‘good black,’ and thus has less of [a] following among black people. Meanwhile, agitators like Al Sharpton are seen as the authentic ‘bad blacks.’ Obama’s trouble, asserted Beinart, is that he will have to prove his loyalty to The People in a way that ‘bad blacks’ never have to.”
Why would Freeman and others dismiss the blackness of President Obama? I suspect that he is blaming the president’s failures on his whiteness. If he were “authentically black,” as Al Sharpton claimed he wasn’t, there would be the type of changes that liberal blacks have been suggesting for a long time.
You see, President Obama has not been liberal enough. It’s his white side that keeps him from being the radical the Left was hoping for.
If Obama loses in November, liberals like Freeman can always say, “Well, if he had been authentically black, a phrase used to describe a real black person, we would have seen some real hope and change.”
Liberals can’t stop making race the issue of our day. Freeman is no different. While lamenting that race has become an issue, he can’t stop talking about it. “When Barack was elected president,” Freeman went on to say, “a good portion of the country broke into tears because it was proof that we are really Americans — that we are who we say we are. And I thought at the time, okay, we can pretty much stop talking about race here in this country, and concentrate on growth. Well, it didn’t turn out that way quite.”
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