Dark Knight Rises Spoiler: Morgan Freeman Attacks Obama and His Blackness

Suddenly, this summer’s biggest blockbuster, The Dark Knight Rises, is becoming tinged with politics.

Morgan Freeman, who plays Batman side kick Lucius Fox in the trilogy, was quoted recently as saying that America has yet to see a black president.

But what about Barack Obama, you ask?

"Barack had a mama and she was white, very white American, Kansas, middle of America," Freeman explained in a recent interview with NPR.

"America's first black president hasn't arisen yet... [Obama] is America's first mixed-race president," Freeman said.

The quotes come after analysts have teased in political undertones to Freeman’s upcoming Batman film, paralleling Batman villain Bane to Mitt Romney and his hedge fund Bain Capital tenure. Given the last film’s openness to interpretation, as a political metaphor, there’s been much talk about interpreting the new film in the same light. Some have sought to draw similarities between DKR, election 2012, and even the class-warfare rhetoric that was the focus of Occupy Wall Street. The new Batman sees Gotham City in upheaval as it’s embroiled in an Occupy-style riot. The trailer seems to lay it all out on the table. The class inequality theme is driven home when Anne Hathaway, as Catwoman, whispers to Bruce Wayne (of the 1%): “You and your friends better batten down the hatches because when it hits, you're all going to wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us.” 

Though not directly related to the movie, Freeman does choose a weird time to question the president's race credentials. Freeman is walking into some hot water here. His quotes sound like they are coming from a radical — i.e. a Birther or Muslim Obama conspiracy theorist. Calling Obama an “false African America” is a bit over the top.  I mean, Obama is technically as African America as they get: His father was, indeed, African, and his mother was American.

Freeman goes on in the interview to explain how the Republican-led House has been obstructionist for Obama and his policies. If the actor is pro-Obama, he should work to spread a positive message, not rip the president for “not being black.”

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Chris Miles

Chris has worked for media outlets including the Associated Press and Stars and Stripes. He worked with the Clinton Foundation, the United Nations, and with the Kentucky state legislature. He holds a master's degree in political science from the University of Louisville, and a BA in journalism and political science from the University of Kentucky. He is originally from Lexington, Ky. Kentucky basketball occupies a majority of his free time.

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