The former president shared his story on his new podcast with Bruce Springsteen.
Last year, I sat down with my good friend Bruce @Springsteen for a long and meaningful conversation that touched on so much of what we’re all dealing with these days. I’m excited to share it with you over the next few weeks: https://t.co/sQACD08AWx pic.twitter.com/biMoxCLhAG
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) February 22, 2021
“Listen, when I was in school, I had a friend. We played basketball together,” said the 44th president. “And one time we got into a fight and he called me a c**n… Now, first of all, ain’t no c**ns in Hawaii, right?” Obama added, “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.'”
With a laugh he continued, “And I remember I popped him in the face and broke his nose. And we were in the locker room.” The former president recognized the power play being implemented by his friend. “‘I may be poor. I may be ignorant. I may be mean. I may be ugly. I may not like myself. I may be unhappy. But you know what I’m not? I’m not you.'”
“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,” said Obama. “Whatever it is, at the end of the day it really comes down to that. And in some cases it’s as simple as, you know, ‘I’m scared I’m insignificant and not important. And this thing is the thing that’s going to give me some importance.'”