In an interview on rock legend Bruce Springsteen’s podcast Renegades: Born in the USA, former President Obama and The Boss discussed race relations in the U.S. and the country’s favorite POTUS detailed a moment in his youth when he experienced 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 said that it’s the person’s thought pattern that leads to these verbal attacks, which ultimately will lead to more destructive and violent behavior. “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,”