FLASHBACK: Morgan Freeman on Ending Racism: ‘Stop Talking About It’

August 22, 2014 - 4:13 PM

(CNSNews.com) – Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman, who endorsed Barack Obama for president in 2008, said that having a Black History Month was “ridiculous” and that the best way to end racism today is to “stop talking about it.”

Freeman, known for his roles in The Shawshank Redemption, Unforgiven, and Million Dollar Baby, made his remarks in a December 2005 interview with Mike Wallace of CBS’ 60 Minutes. In the profile of Freeman, Wallace remarked that the actor/director’s “political views are at times surprising,” and then asked Freeman, “Black History Month, you find?”

Freeman said, “Ridiculous.”

When Wallace asked, “Why?” Freeman said, “You’re going to relegate my history to a month?” The exchange continued:

Wallace: “Oh, come on.”

Freeman: What do you do with yours? Which month is white history month? No, Come on, tell me.”

Wallace: “Well, I'm Jewish.”

Freeman: “Okay. Which month is Jewish history month?”

Wallace:  “There isn't one.”

Freeman: “ Oh. Oh, why not? Do you want one?”

Wallace:  “No. No.”

Freeman:  “I don't either. I don't want a Black History Month. Black history is American history.”

Wallace:  “How are we going to get rid of racism and ….”

Freeman:  “Stop talking about it. I'm going to stop calling you a white man, and I'm going to ask you to stop calling me a black man. I know you as Mike Wallace. You know me as Morgan Freeman. You want to say, `Well, I know this white guy named Mike Wallace.' You know what I'm saying?”

Wallace:  “Mm-hmm.”

Freeman: “Jewish guy. I have a lot of – some of my best friends are Jewish. Okay?”

In a more recent interview, June 3, 2014, Freeman was interviewed on CNN by Don Lemon. They were discussing President Obama’s drive to make income inequality a national issue of debate.

When asked by Lemon whether race is a factor in wealth distribution in the United States, Freman said, “Today? No. You and I. We’re proof.”

“Why would race have anything to do with it?” said Freeman. “Put 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.”

As for racism in society in general, Freeman said, “If you talk about it, it exists. It’s not like it exists and we refuse to talk about it, Making it a bigger issue than it needs to be is the problem here.”