Watch LIVE

Obama says he punched out a friend in school, breaking his nose, after being called a racial slur

News

'Don't you ever call me something like that,' the former president recalled saying after throwing his punch

JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama said that back in the day when he was in school he punched out a friend — breaking the kid's nose — after he called Obama a racial slur.

What are the details?

The revelation was part of the second episode of "Renegades: Born in the USA," the podcast Obama launched with singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen in which the pair take on socio-political issues. The episode featured a racism discussion, and Obama notably blamed the "politics of white resistance and resentment" as one reason why he didn't push for reparations while he was in office.

Obama also noted that racism can be birthed from one's fear that "I'm insignificant and not important. And [being racist] is the thing that's going to give me some importance," the Huffington Post said.

Then he got personal, recalling a moment from his time in school in Hawaii when a friend called him a "c**n," the outlet noted.

"It's one of those things that where he might not even know what a c**n was — what he knew was, 'I can hurt you by saying this,'" Obama recalled, according to the Post. "And I remember I popped him in the face and broke his nose, and we were in the locker room. ... And he said, 'Why'd you do that?' And I explained to him, 'Don't you ever call me something like that.'"

According to The Hill, Obama chuckled retelling the tale — and Springsteen offered kudos for his physical response: "Well done."

The Hill added that it's believed to be the first time Obama publicly discussed the incident.

During the podcast, Obama also said that uttering racial slurs comes down to "an assertion of status over the other," The Hill reported.

"'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, according to the Hill. "'I'm not you.'"

Most recent
All Articles