Barack Obama opens up on childhood experiences with racism, narrates how he broke classmate's nose for using racial slur

Barack Obama once broke a classmate's nose for calling him a racial slur.

The former president of the United States has opened up about his childhood experiences with racism, and recalled a time he got into a fight over an incident with a friend.

Speaking to Bruce Springsteen on their 'Renegades: Born in the USA' podcast, he said: "Listen, when I was in school, I had a friend. We played basketball together. And one time we got into a fight, and he called me a c*.

"Now, first of all, ain't no c*s in Hawaii, right? It's one of those things where he might not even have known what a c*** was. What he knew was, 'I can hurt you by saying this'…

"I remember I popped him in the face and broke his nose, and we were in the locker room. I explained to him – I said, 'Don't you ever call me something like that.

"'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? I'm not you.' "

Obama, 59, has always been open about issues of race, and in June 2020 he discussed how to bring about change amid protests over the death of George Floyd.

He wrote: "I recognise that these past few months have been hard and dispiriting – that the fear, sorrow, uncertainty, and hardship of a pandemic have been compounded by tragic reminders that prejudice and inequality still shape so much of American life.

"But watching the heightened activism of young people in recent weeks, of every race and every station, makes me hopeful.

"If, going forward, we can channel our justifiable anger into peaceful, sustained, and effective action, then this moment can be a real turning point in our nation's long journey to live up to our highest ideals."

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