Morgan Freeman has never minced words. After turning in gut-wrenching performances in several classic films and literally becoming the voice of God, when Freeman speaks, people listen. So, when the seasoned actor sat down with NPR to talk about his storied career and his new film The Magic of Belle Isle, Freeman had another thing on his mind: politics.

During the interview, Michelle Martin asked Freeman how he felt about living in an era of the first black president, and I’m sure she wasn’t prepared for his answer. Despite President Obama identifying as being African American, Freeman said that the President’s critics conveniently forget about his “very white” mama.

“First thing that always pops into my head regarding our president is that all of the people who are setting up this barrier for him … they just conveniently forget that Barack had a mama, and she was white — very white American, Kansas, middle of America,” he said. “There was no argument about who he is or what he is. America’s first black president hasn’t arisen yet. He’s not America’s first black president — he’s America’s first mixed-race president.”

Freeman, who is an Obama supporter, says the president is being purposely attacked by those on the right and disagrees with their assertion that he’s been an ineffective leader.

“He is being purposely, purposely thwarted by the Republican Party, who started out at the beginning of his tenure by saying, ‘We are going to do whatever is necessary to make sure that he’s only going to serve one term,’ ” he said. “That means they will not cooperate with him on anything. So to say he’s ineffective is a misappropriation of the facts.”

Although America has had a long history of ascribing blackness to anyone with a black parent, many mixed-raced people have embraced the idea of duality and choosing how they should identify for themselves.

What do you think about Morgan Freeman’s statements on the president? 

*Photo via NY Mag

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  • D’Jai

    Apparently, Morgan Freeman has forgotten about the “One Drop Rule” in this country….I also feel that he is being disrespectful (like a lot of people) in his opinion of President Obama’s race. President Obama has never forgotten that he has a white mother and a black father; who happens to be of African decent. Therefore, I feel that President Obama is the first African-American in the truest sense of the word, who is the leader of the United States of America. When it comes down to the real important thing I think that it should be far less about the race of President Obama; and more about what he is trying to do for our country which is to make it better for all of its citizens. I wish people would stop worrying about race and focus on being more respectful toward one another. The world would be a much better place to live in if more people helped to make our country better. President Obama will not be able to do this alone; especially with the political in-fighting that goes on within Congress and the Senate…….God Bless!!

  • Irish American & Proud

    Why is the color of his skin even an issue? Does that affect how he leads our country?

  • It seems the USA really fool you black people you always have to have something to go on because you were denied so much in life Obama is biracial if he was DNA black then where does his white mother fit in the equation Morgan freeman is right yet people can’t handle the truth.

  • Alan Branfman

    Obama has demonstrated that he doesn’t need Republican cooperation, Mr. Freeman. He’s managed to screw up the country all by himself.