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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Monday, 19 April 2021 7.52 AM IST

Barack Obama says he broke his friend's nose in school over racial slur

barack-obama

WASHINGTON: Former US President Barack Obama said on Tuesday he once broke a schoolmate's nose for using a racial slur against him during a locker room fight.

"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---...Now, first of all, ain't no c---s in Hawaii, right?" a report quoted Barack Obama as saying.

Barack Obama then broke into laughter and said, "And I remember, I popped him in the face and broke his nose. And we were in the locker room."

According to reports, Barack Obama recalled the incident during an episode of his Spotify podcast with Bruce Springsteen, "Renegades," released on Monday (local time).

"It's one of those things that -- where he might not even have known what a c--- was -- what he knew was, 'I can hurt you by saying this," Obama said.

"I explained to him -- I said, 'Don't you ever call me something like that," Obama was quoted as saying.

'PSYCHOLOGY TO DEHUMANISE'


Barack Obama said hurling racial slurs comes down to "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? I'm not you," Obama told Springsteen.

"That basic psychology that then gets institutionalised is used to justify dehumanising somebody, taking advantage of 'em, cheatin' 'em, stealin' from 'em, killin' 'em, raping 'em," news agency ANI cited The Hill as quoting Obama at the show.

"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," Obama said.

AMERICA IS NOT "CURED" OF RACISM


Obama has repeatedly discussed the lingering impacts of racism in American society, both when he was in office and after leaving it.

In an interview in 2015, Obama had said America is not "cured" of racism.

Following a deadly shooting at a historically black church in South Carolina, Obama had said, "Racism, we are not cured of it...And it's not just a matter of it not being polite to say [the N-word] in public. That's not the measure of whether racism still exists or not. It's not just a matter of overt discrimination. Societies don't, overnight, completely erase everything that happened 200 to 300 years prior."

"That's not the measure of whether racism still exists or not. It's not just a matter of overt discrimination. Societies don't, overnight, completely erase everything that happened 200 to 300 years prior," Obama was quoted as saying.

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TAGS: OBAMA, RACIAL SLUR, FRIENDS NOSE, SCHOOLMATE, LOCKER ROOM FIGHT, LAUGHTER, PSYCHOLOGY, DEHUMANISE, RACISM, AMEERICA, FORMER PRESIDENT
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