“You’re going to relegate my history to a month?” Freeman asks Wallace. After noting there is no “white history month,” he says, “I don’t want a black history month. Black history is American history,” he tells Wallace.Treating people as individuals? Outrageous! What would Martin Luther King think?
The notion of a special month for black history may be hurting rather than helping efforts for racial equality, Freeman believes. When Wallace wonders whether racist attitudes may be harder to eradicate without the education that Black History Month provides, Freeman retorts: “How are we going to get rid of racism? Stop talking about it!”
Freeman believes the labels “black” and “white” are an obstacle to beating racism. “I am going to stop calling you a white man and I’m going to ask you to stop calling me a black man,” he says. “I know you as Mike Wallace. You know me as Morgan Freeman. You wouldn’t say, ‘Well, I know this white guy named Mike Wallace.’ You know what I’m saying?”
(On an entirely different note, Freeman also talked about his love of sailing in the interview, which is interesting to me because my wife's uncle used to work at a company in Rhode Island that designed boats. Eight or nine years ago, Uncle Fred helped Morgan Freeman build a sailboat. Freeman was working on Amistad at the time, and he gave Uncle Fred and his colleagues a nice bound copy of John Quincy Adams's real argument before the Supreme Court. No point to this story, except that it's pretty cool.)
(Hat tip to the Corner.)