On the latest episode of the podcast Renegades: Born in the USA, co-hosted by music icon Bruce Springsteen and former President Barack Obama, the two talked about racism in America. A topic that prompted Obama to recount a story of his own experience with racism.
“Listen, when I was in school, I had a friend. We played basketball together,” said Obama. “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?”
“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.'” He continued, “And I remember I popped him in the face and broke his nose. And we were in the locker room.”
Obama noted that the use of racial slurs is “an assertion of status over the other.” Adding that that mindset lays the foundation for far more terrible things to materialize in the future. “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,”