Former President Barack Obama recently admitted to breaking a classmate’s nose after being called a racial slur.
Obama detailed the teenage event on his Spotify exclusive podcast, Renegades, with guest Bruce Springsteen, that released on Monday. Obama said that the incident was between a friend of his that he played basketball with. His teammate hurled the slur at him during an argument.
“Listen, when I was in school, I had a friend. We played basketball together, and one time we got into a fight and he called me a c—,” Obama said about 13 minutes into the episode. “Now first of all, ain’t no c—s in Hawaii, right?” the former President added. He then said his teammate might’ve not even known what the slur meant, but knew that it would hurt him. “It’s one of those things that — where he might not even known what a c— was — what he knew was, ‘I can hurt you by saying this.”
That’s when the former President introduced his hand to his teammate’s face. “And I remember I popped him in the face and broke his nose. And we were in the locker room.”
“Well done,” Springsteen remarked.
Obama then said that calling people slurs, is “an assertion of status over the other.”
“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?'” Obama said to Springsteen. “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.'”