Barack Obama is proving himself worthy of the title “renegade”!
The former President of the United States has linked up with legendary artist Bruce Springsteen for a new Spotify podcast series, “Renegades: Born in the USA.” The pair of pals cover a variety of topics, including racism, which is a focal point of the recently released first two episodes.
During their conversation, 59-year-old Obama brought up one of his own experiences with racism growing up in Hawaii. He explained:
“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**n.”
“Now first of all, ain’t no c**ns in Hawaii, right?”
Michelle Obama’s husband shared:
“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.’ … And I remember I popped him in the face and broke his nose. And we were in the locker room.”
The Dancing in the Dark singer interjected his support (“Well done,” the rocker praised) as the politician continued:
“And suddenly blood is pouring down. And it was just reactive… And he said, ‘Why’d you do that?’ And I explained to him — I said, ‘Don’t you ever call me something like that.’”
Obama went on to reflect on why, exactly, people (white Americans in particular) feel the need to use racial slurs. He noted:
“[The] point is that what it comes down to is… an assertion of status over the other, right? The claim is made that ‘No matter what I am… 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.’ And that basic psychology that then gets institutionalized is used to justify dehumanizing somebody, taking advantage of ’em, cheating ’em, stealing from ’em, killing ’em, raping ’em… 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.’”
Amidst the wide-ranging conversation within the first two episodes, the father of two compared his political journey to being a rock star like Springsteen. He mused:
“The same issues that you struggle with have been issues I’ve struggled with. The same joys and doubts. You know, it turns out there’s a lot of overlap… In the same way that a musician is looking for a way to channel and work through pain, demons, personal question, you know, that was certainly true for me in terms of getting into public life.”
Very interesting indeed — it seems like Bruce may introduce us to a whole new side of the former President!
You can listen to their conversation in full (below):
[Image via WENN/Instar]