For Americans who’ve spent years with Barack Obama in the public eye, this might be hard to believe.
But after eight years in the White House, three full-blown autobiographies and countless public appearances where the issue of race has either been the main topic of talk or was bubbling just beneath the surface, the 44th president still has at least one story he never told before.
And he was striking a blow against racism — literally.
In an episode of his podcast “Renegades: Born in the USA” released Monday with the liberal singer Bruce Springsteen, Obama brought up a hitherto unknown episode from his teen years in Hawaii, when a then-friend called him a racial slur during a locker room confrontation.
Listen to the anecdote below. It starts at about the 28:40 mark.
“And one time we got into a fight and he called me a c—,” Obama said, using the racial slur that rhymes with “soon.”
“Now first of all, ain’t no c—s in Hawaii, right?” Obama said.
“It’s one of those things where he might not even known what a c— was — what he knew was, ‘I can hurt you by saying this,’” Obama said.
“And I remember I popped him in the face and broke his nose. And we were in the locker room. And suddenly, blood’s pouring down. And it was just a reaction. I said, ‘What?’ and I popped him.
“And he said, ‘Why’d you do that?’”
“I explained to him, I said, ‘Don’t you ever call me something like that,” Obama said.
For Obama watchers, the story had to come as some surprise, since nothing like it has ever even been hinted at before. As The Hill noted with considerable understatement: “It is believed to the first time the former president has discussed the incident publicly.”
Now, in the pantheon of convenient memories of Democratic politicians, this might not rank up there with some of the greats.
Hillary Clinton’s fabulist daring dash under sniper fire in Bosnia is a classic, for instance. Cory Booker’s imaginary drug-dealing friend T-Bone is always an honorable mention.
And Obama’s vice president, Joe Biden, the man who now holds the title of president of the United States, is probably the national champion of self-serving story-telling, such as witnessing a battlefield Silver Star ceremony that never happened, or getting arrested in South Africa trying to see Nelson Mandela (also never happened) or marching in the civil rights movement (again, never happened).
Unlike Clinton’s sniper-fire story, or Biden’s countless Walter Mitty escapades, there’s a quality of near-credibility to Obama’s story. For instance, he was, undoubtedly, a teenager at some point. Probably played basketball, and in all likelihood had a friend.
So the story can’t be dismissed out of hand. The problem is that it’s only coming up now.
Barack Obama has been a part of the American public conversation since making a splash with his speech during the 2004 Democratic National
Source: The Gateway Pundit