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Academy Award-winning icon Morgan Freeman has recently stated commonly used terms relating to race should be removed from the lexicon.
In an interview with the Sunday Times, Freeman said he was keen to “say publicly” that he objected to the terms “Black History Month” and “African American.”
Calling both an “insult”, Freeman said of the first: “You’re going to relegate my history to a month?”
Morgan Freeman said he objected to “African American” because it was inaccurate
“I don’t subscribe to that title. Black people have had different titles all the way back to the N-word and I do not know how these things get such a grip, but everyone uses ‘African American’.”
“What does it really mean? Most Black people in this part of the world are mongrels. And you say Africa as if it’s a country when it’s a continent, like Europe.”
The Guardian reports the actor had previously spoken out against both terms to the Guardian in 2012, saying he didn’t like “African American” “because ‘Black’ is beautiful. One syllable versus seven.”
“Black history is American history; they’re completely intertwined,” says Freeman
For Black History Month, he said he objected to the ghettoisation implicit in devoting February to this topic.
Asked by the Times whether he concurred with Denzel Washington’s statement that he was “very proud to be Black, but Black is not all I am.” Freeman said: “Yes, exactly. I’m in total agreement. You can’t define me that way.”
Morgan Freeman has seen race through a wormhole for decades
During a 2005 interview with Mike Wallace for 60 Minutes, Freeman said similar, calling Black History Month “ridiculous” and maintained the way to get rid of racism was to “stop talking about it.”
In 2014, CNN’s Don Lemon asked Morgan Freeman, “Do you think race plays a part in wealth distribution?” He responded, “No, I don’t. You and I are proof,” Morgan told Lemon. “Why would race have anything to do with it? Stick your mind to what you want to do and go for that. It’s kind of like religion to me — it’s a good excuse for not getting there.”
Morgan furthered, “If you talk about it, it exists. It’s not like it exists and we refuse to talk about it, but making it a bigger issue than it needs to be is the problem we have.”
Morgan Freeman told BET in 2011, “I don’t have any ‘my people'”
When asked his take on what was dubbed as the Black men blackout, i.e. the lack of African-American actors on stage, at the 2011 Oscars, Freeman responded, “I think we need to get over that s–t. How many Chinese do you see? You don’t see them out marching and s–t. Oh God please. I think … We need to get over it, that’s all.”
Freeman continued to BET, “I never had to deal with that part of my thing. Once, I straightened my hair when I was doing The Electric Company, and this woman comes up to me and says, “You…you… shouldn’t!” And I said, “Hold it. You don’t dictate my image. Get away from me.” And another one said, “But you’re a Black man!” And I said, “Oh? Do tell!” After I played the president in Deep Impact, somebody said to me, “How does it feel to play a Black president?” And I was like, “Whoa, whoa. I didn’t play a ‘Black’ president. I played the president.” I don’t have to play Black.”