In an intimate interview with Bruce Springsteen, former President Obama admitted that he broke a classmate’s nose after the child called him a racial slur.
The in-depth discussion on race in the United States took place on an episode of the former president’s podcast series on Spotify titled “Renegades.”
He shared the tale of the lockerroom beatdown with Springsteen at the 13-minute mark of the second episode that debuted on Monday.
“Listen, when I was in school, I had a friend. We played basketball together,” Obama disclosed on the podcast. “And one time, we got into a fight, and he called me a coon.”
The charismatic politician let out a heartfelt laugh before continuing the story.
“Now, first of all, ain’t no coons in Hawaii, right,” he asked.
After his peer said the slur, Obama punched him in the face– breaking his nose. He expressed, in detail, what he understood about that moment.
“It’s one of those things that– where he might not even known what a coon was– what he knew was, ‘I can hurt you by saying this,’” he continued.
“And I remember I popped him in the face and broke his nose. And we were in the locker room.”
“Well done,” Springsteen replied.
Related Story: Former NYPD Cop Sheds New Light On The Murder of Beloved Civil Rights Leader Malcolm X
Obama opined that hurling a slur was “an assertion of status over the other.”
“‘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. “‘I’m not you.’”
He elaborated that people who come from that place do so from a lack of self-worth.
“Whatever it is, at the end of the day, it really comes down to that. 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.’”
Also, in the podcast, Obama and Springsteen touched on the rocker’s relationship with his Black saxophone player– the late Clarence Clemons. He also discussed reparations and white supremacy.