Morgan Freeman doesn't want America to be confused when it comes to President Obama's cultural background. According to the esteemed actor, based on the president's bi-racial background, he should not be considered the country's first Black president. Freeman explained his views on NPR's Tell Me More blaming "the people" for "setting up this barrier" for Obama, which apparently excludes the existence of his White mother.
The commander in chief was born to, Ann Dunham, and an African father, Barack Obama Sr. The couple met while attending University of Hawaii at Mānoa, and later married. "They just conveniently forget that Barack had a mama, and she was White - very White American, Kansas, middle America," Freeman said. "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."
Obama has been very open about being raised primarily by his mother and grandparents, and having less communication with his birth father, who died in 1982. During his bid for president in 2008, Obama addressed criticism he received for considering himself Black. "I am the son of a Black man from Kenya and a White woman from Kansas," he said in a speech. "I was raised with the help of a White grandfather who survived a Depression to serve in Patton's Army during World War II and a White grandmother who worked on a bomber assembly line at Fort Leavenworth while he was overseas. I've gone to some of the best schools in America and lived in one of the world's poorest nations. I am married to a Black American who carries within her the blood of slaves and slave owners — an inheritance we pass on to our two precious daughters. I have brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles and cousins of every race and every hue, scattered across three continents, and for as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible. It's a story that hasn't made me the most conventional of candidates. But it is a story that has seared into my genetic makeup the idea that this nation is more than the sum of its parts — that out of many, we are truly one."
Although Freeman's words are technically accurate, surely he is aware that a public backlash is imminent. Despite his views on his racial makeup, the 75-year-old went on to state that the President has been the target of unfair bipartisan attacks. "He is being purposely, purposely thwarted by the Republican Party, who started out at the beginning of his tenure by saying, 'We are going to do whatever is necessary to make sure that he only has one term. That means they will not cooperate with him on anything. So to say he's ineffective is a misappropriation of the facts."
Not that he needs to, but the POTUS has yet to respond to Freeman's words.
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