We all know our forever President Barack Obama exhibited a lot of grace and poise while he was in office but recently he admitted that back in the day, he had to put the paws on a classmate for calling him out of his name.
During a recent episode of Bruce Springsteen’s podcast “Renegades,” Obama revealed that he once broke a classmate’s nose after his then-friend called him a “c**n” during a lock room fight, The Hill reports.
“Listen, when I was in school, I had a friend. We played basketball together,” Obama told Springsteen during a larger conversation on race. “And one time we got into a fight and he called me a c**n.”
Obama continued, “Now first of all, ain’t no c**ns in Hawaii, right? 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 said he remembers he then “popped” his friend in the face and broke his nose.
“Well done,” Springsteen responded to Obama’s story.
Apparently that punch came with a lesson, too.
“I explained to him — I said, ‘Don’t you ever call me something like that,'” Obama said.
It is believed that this was the first time Obama ever told that story publicly.
He recalls telling his classmate, “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.”
He continued, saying that kind of rhetoric then gets institutionalized and is used to justify dehumanizing somebody, or worse, kill them.
We imagine Obama has heard much worse from racists when he was the leader of the free world but he definitely has received his flowers for remaining professional.
That doesn’t mean he won’t stop being vocal about social justice. He has repeatedly discussed the lingering impacts of racism on American society, even when he was in office.
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