“Morgan Freeman, in an interview to be aired on CNN Friday evening, says that President Obama has made racism worse in America,” Noel Sheppard writes at Newsbusters:
PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Has Obama helped the process of eradicating racism, or has it in a strange way made it worse.
MORGAN FREEMAN: Made it worse. Made it worse. Look at, look, the Tea Partiers, who are controlling the Republican Party, stated, and what’s this guy’s name, Mitch O’Connell. Is that his, O’Connell?
MORGAN: Yeah, Mitch McConnell, yeah.
FREEMAN: Mitch McConnell. Their stated policy, publicly stated, is to do whatever it takes to see to it that Obama only serves one term. What’s, what does that, what underlines that? “Screw the country. We’re going to whatever we do to get this black man, we can, we’re going to do whatever we can to get this black man outta here.”
MORGAN: But is that necessarily a racist thing?
FREEMAN: It is a racist thing.
MORGAN: Is it not Republicans, wouldn’t that say that about any Democrat president?
FREEMAN: No, they would have gotten rid of Bill Clinton if they could have.
MORGAN: They tried.
FREEMAN: They did try, but still. I don’t, they’re not going to get rid of Obama either. I think they’re shooting themselves in the head.
MORGAN: Does it unnerve you that the Tea Party are gaining such traction?
FREEMAN: Well, it just shows the weak, dark, underside of America. We’re supposed to be better than that. We really are. That’s, that’s why all those people were in tears when Obama was elected president. “Ah, look at what we are. Look at how, this is America.” You know? And then it just sort of started turning because these people surfaced like stirring up muddy water.
Is that what it shows, or does it show that people — not just those in the Tea Party — have lost faith in this President?
Obama’s poll numbers continue to sink. This includes amongst reliably Democratic supporters such as Jews and African-Americans?
Have Jews and African-Americans suddenly become black haters?
The reality is that more and more people — even some in the media, perish the thought — are coming to the conclusion that Barack Obama was totally unqualified for the job as president, and that his performance in the past 32 months proves it.
What folks like Freeman don’t get is that there’s nothing racist about such feelings, and to make such an accusation is, well, racist.
Of course. But just for the sake of argument, let’s assume Freeman is right — that America is a racist cesspool. What role does his industry play in shaping that? Sixty years of films such as Stanley Kramer’s The Defiant Ones and Guess Who’s Coming Dinner. Twenty years of Freeman himself alternating between playing either God or the president. All for naught. If Freeman is right, then Hollywood has failed in the role that his fellow progressives set out for it. And he has failed in his choices of film roles.
But then, as fellow Hollywood elite Nora Ephron wrote in April of 2008 at the Huffington Post:
This is an election about whether the people of Pennsylvania hate blacks more than they hate women. And when I say people, I don’t mean people, I mean white men. How ironic is this? After all this time, after all these stupid articles about how powerless white men are and how they can’t even get into college because of overachieving women and affirmative action and mean lady teachers who expected them to sit still in the third grade even though they were all suffering from terminal attention deficit disorder — after all this, they turn out (surprise!) to have all the power. (As they always did, by the way; I hope you didn’t believe any of those articles.)
To put it bluntly, the next president will be elected by them: the outcome of Tuesday’s primary will depend on whether they go for Hillary or Obama, and the outcome of the general election will depend on whether enough of them vote for McCain. A lot of them will: white men cannot be relied on, as all of us know who have spent a lifetime dating them. And McCain is a compelling candidate, particularly because of the Torture Thing. As for the Democratic hope that McCain’s temper will be a problem, don’t bet on it. A lot of white men have terrible tempers, and what’s more, they think it’s normal.
And that was during the Pennsylvania primary. The Pennsylvania Democratic primary. So if those Democrats who supported Hillary were racists, if those Democrats (particularly those in Hollywood) who have abandoned Obama in 2011 are racists, and if the Tea Party is racist (pay no attention to the support they’ve shown to Allen West and Herman Cain, not to mention the diverse nature of the Tea Party itself — Morgan isn’t), then essentially Freeman is saying that America has made no progress since the days of the Woodrow Wilson and the Dixiecrats.
And his industry — and his ideology — must share some of the blame for that.
My, how low America has sunk when Hollywood looks so far down upon it.
And in just three and a half years, too.
Update: In the comments, a reader points out an earlier incarnation of Freeman:
Say, I rather like this man’s message. Whatever happened to him?
More: Also at Newsbusters, “Herman Cain Takes On Morgan Freeman For Calling Tea Party Racist.” Cain asks why Freeman has never been at a Tea Party. Perhaps the Dallas Tea Party could make Freeman an offer he can’t accept, lest the Tea Party stop being a faceless bogeyman, much as they did with this public access cable TV host in 2010:
Also read Roger L. Simon on Herman Cain’s victory in the Florida straw poll.
Related: Via Ace, “the Screengrab of the Year:”