Actor Morgan Freeman made some pretty interesting comments during an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon about race and wealth.
The star joined Lemon to promote his new series Through the Wormhole on the Science Channel. But somehow the two ended up discussing wealth inequality and race.
Morgan began by saying he thinks it’s a “great idea” that President Barack Obama and Democrats are drawing attention to income inequality. “We have a much more vibrant society when we don’t have such a vast chasm between the haves and have-nots,” he said. “Without a middle class, you’re not going to have consumers,” he added.
Asked by Lemon if race plays a role in wealth distribution, Freeman answered, “Today? No. You and I, we’re proof.”
“Why would race have anything to do with it?” he continued, “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.”
Lemon used the opportunity to say something he thought might get him “in trouble” about the prevalence of race in the stories he covers for CNN. “It seems like every single day I’m talking about race on television, because its in the news cycle, because it’s in the news,” he said. “But sometimes I just get so tired of talking about it, I want to just go, ‘this is over, can we move on?’”
“If you talk about it, it exists,” Freeman replied. “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.”
In terms of race and inequality, numbers from data collected from the U.S. Census shows that in 1967, the median household income for white, non-Hispanic households was 43 percent higher than for black households. As of 2011, the number now stands at a 72 percent increase.
Watch the conversation here:
Do you think prominent blacks who hold opinions similar to Morgan Freeman and Don Lemon hurt the struggle for income equality?
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