KEY POINTS

  • Barack Obama hit his friend and broke his nose for using the C-word  
  • Obama warned his pal to never call him that racial slur ever again
  • Obama explained the psychology behind using racial slurs to his pal

Barack Obama shared an incident when he broke a friend's nose for calling him a racial slur.

Former President Obama shared his personal experience with racism involving violence in a Spotify podcast with Bruce Springsteen called "Renegades." The ex-POTUS revisited an incident when he fought with a pal and the latter used the C-word racial epithet at him that prompted him to hit his friend in the face.

"Now first of all, ain’t no c--s in Hawaii, right?" Obama was quoted by Variety as saying. "It’s one of those things that where he might not even known what [it] 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."

Obama remembered the blood pouring and his friend asking him why he hit him. The former president warned his friend to never call him again that way while explaining the psychology behind using racial slurs and dehumanizing people.

"And I explained to him – I said, ‘Don’t you ever call me something like that… But the point is that what it comes down to is… an assertion of status over the other. right?" he explained.

"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."

Meanwhile, Obama has called to end gun violence and treat it with the same urgency as the COVID-19 pandemic. The ex-president hopes for an immediate resolution because it has been an issue for decades and it's unique to the United States.

Obama's tweet received mixed responses with some agreeing with him and others not supporting it. One asked why Obama seemed to take away their rights. Meanwhile, another agreed with Obama to stop gun violence saying a gun is "designed to instill fear." 

Barack Obama Barack Obama shared a special post on his Facebook page ahead of New Year’s Day. Pictured: Former President Barack Obama speaks at a rally to support Michigan democratic candidates on Oct. 26, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images