Who is better qualified to talk about how race has held him back than an eighty-year old black man from the Deep South, Memphis, Tennessee? On his way up there were no affirmative action programs to help him overcome the obstacle of “being born Black in America.”
Morgan Freeman was 80 when he was interviewed on CNN Tonight, two years ago. Host Don Lemon Morgan asked him, “Do you think poverty is part of genetics, to answer your question?”
Freeman answered forthrightly, “No, you can’t say that. I don’t think wealth, personally, I don’t think wealth and genetics have anything to do with each other, actually.”
Freeman elaborated and his answer must’ve had political race hustlers burying their heads, “If you’re born in the U.S., it really doesn’t matter the condition of your birth. What matters is what you inherit from your nurturing, from your environment, whether or not you are — I mean, this is from the standpoint of having been born with little. Here, you can always get out of that. Poverty is just…”
The Academy Award winner wasn’t done.
When Lemon asked him, “Do you think race plays a part in wealth distribution?”
Freeman didn’t hesitate, “Today? No.”
Lemon persisted, “You don’t?”
And, Freeman remained resolute, “No. No, I don’t. You and I, we’re proof. Why would race have anything to do with it? Put your mind to what you want to do and go from there.”
“I was born in Memphis, Tennessee [in 1937],” said Freeman. “I had a long haul from where I came from, to here. But here we are. So proof is in — proof of the pudding is in the eating. Here we sit at the dining table.”
Lemon was desperate to protect “The Legacy Of Liberalism” that has destroyed the Black family and the schools their children attend that Freeman had earlier alluded to (“What matters is what you inherit from your nurturing, from your environment”.)
Lemon: “But it’s hard to — when you say that to people because they say, ‘Here you go with the pull yourself up by the bootstraps thing. You’re just being respectable. Not everybody can do that.”
Freeman’s response was abrupt: “Bullsh**! Everybody can! “Not that it doesn’t – [take] courage. Courage is the key to life itself. A lot of people were born in situations, ‘I’ll never get out of this.’ So they won’t. I say to people who say, ‘Well, I would like to have done so and so and so and so.’
“Well, you could have done it. ‘I couldn’t get out of here.’”
“Man, the bus runs every day.”
Freeman’s message: Certain “truths are self-evident. That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” and abilities and it is up to them what they make of themselves. He warns young people not to be the victim of their own actions. That, after all, is the essence of freedom.