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Fearless Philosophy For Free Minds: Some Words of Wisdom from Morgan Freeman

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Some Words of Wisdom from Morgan Freeman

I didn’t catch the 60 Minutes interview between Mike Wallace and Morgan Freeman when it aired, but I heard some highlights of the interview on The Larry Elder (Radio) Show. I later did a search on the web to find the interview and fortunately, the CBS News website has the video of the parts of the interview that piqued my interest. I have always appreciated Morgan Freedman’s talent as an actor, but I had no idea of his philosophical views on life. I’m sure that this is only a small look at what Morgan Freeman is all about, but from what I have heard from him so far…I am very impressed. I felt that these words of wisdom form Morgan Freeman deserved to be repeated here if nowhere else.

Mike Wallace:

“Black History month you find…”

Morgan Freeman:

(Interrupts) “Ridiculous.”

Mike Wallace:

“Why?”

Morgan Freeman:

“You're going to relegate my history to a month?”

Mike Wallace:

“Oh, come on”

Morgan Freeman:

“What do you want me to do with yours? What, which month is White History Month?”

Mike Wallace:

“Well ahhh…”

Morgan Freeman:

“Well, come on.”

Mike Wallace:

“I’m Jewish.”

Morgan Freeman:

“Okay. Which month is Jewish History Month?”

Mike Wallace:

“There isn’t one.”

Morgan Freeman:

“Ohhhhhhh. Why not? Do you want one?"

Mike Wallace:

“No, No,”

Morgan Freeman:

“I don’t either. I don't want a Black History Month. Black history is American history.”

Mike Wallace:

"How can we get rid of racism?"

Morgan Freeman:

“Stop talking about it. I'm going to stop calling you a white man and I'm going to ask you to stop calling me a black man. 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 sayin’?”

Freeman’s previous statement transcends the race issue. He doesn’t want to be known as ‘a black man’ he wants to be known as an individual…an individual named Morgan Freeman. How novel! How refreshing is this? In a time when many of us want to be identified as part of a group, one man stands up and wants to be seen as an individual.

The interview continues…

Morgan Freeman:

“There is racism…”

Mike Wallace:

(agreeing) “Right.”

Morgan Freeman:

“…but racism is not the end all. It’s not the reason for everything, ya know you cannot…I find it, I do find it convenient for a lot of people in a lot of areas to say ‘I couldn’t do this because of racism’. And I, ah, people say ‘Easy for you to say.’ Well yeah it is easy for me to say because of where I am. I mean, where did I come from…I just believe that, ah, if you put your mind to it, you can do whatever it is you want to do. I suspect that people who say ‘I would like to’. ‘I would like to’ is not ‘I want to’. ‘I want to’ means ‘I will’. ‘I would like to’ means ‘maybe…if it becomes convenient’.”

I wonder if Morgan Freeman will receive the same treatment as Bill Cosby for daring to preach such controversial messages as personal responsibility and personal choices?

13 Comments:

Blogger KaneCitizen said...

I wonder if Morgan Freeman will receive the same treatment as Bill Cosby...

I wonder if the two of them used to exchange ideas on race on the set of Electric Company. Ever hear Rita Moreno say she didn't want to be known as Hispanic?

9:20 PM  
Anonymous Mar Omega (Littau) said...

I've always found Morgan Freeman to be a fascinating actor and human being. From what little I’ve heard him say outside of the movies, he has always struck me as a completely logical and passionate individual. A man of his own mind. A man who is not swayed by popular opinion over his own reason. An individual.

It both saddens me and aggravates me that most people feel they need a race, a tribe, a party, a pack, a family or a gang. This is simply an ancient face that the weak hide behind to cope with their own insecurities. An individual should be able to stand on one’s own and have his/her own ideas.

Race, nationality, gender and sexuality are all details that give this world it’s flavor. And in a world where we want equality, special privilege to special interests negates the idea in itself.

Freeman was absolutely right about racism. To stop making an issue out of it would make it no longer an issue.

8:34 AM  
Anonymous Mar Omega said...

Oh yeah... one more thing. Deep Impact was a really bad movie, but Morgan Freeman should run for president. Politics is an actor's market these days.

8:41 AM  
Blogger James R Ament said...

I've spent so much time telling myself that I should appreciate actors for their talent, i.e. skillfully reciting lines that somebody else wrote, rather than giving any credibility to their lousy politics by commenting on them, that now I must make this observation: I wholeheartedly agree with Morgan Freeman but... he's just an actor. Oh, I forgot, we've had actors in politics before! Never mind.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

I knew I liked Morgan Freeman. I will probably be put in the catagory with Bill Cosby.

7:42 PM  
Blogger Stephen Littau said...

Don’t misunderstand me James, I am not impressed with Morgan Freeman because he is a celebrity, I am impressed with his attitude and approach to life. If this had been an interview Joe Sixpack, I would have been equally impressed and would have written about his words of wisdom instead. Celebrities in general do not impress me. Many of them use their celebrity to advance causes they know little about and preach to us ‘little people’ about how we should live our lives (meanwhile, the vast majority of celebrities’ personal lives are very screwed up; why do we take these people more seriously than the average person?). Having said that, there are many individual celebrities that are very articulate and deserve to be acknowledged when they stand up to the Hollywood establishment. Celebrities should be viewed as individuals just as anybody else.

Mar, it is great to hear from you (Mar is my brother, go check out his website MarOmega.com to see some of his amazing artwork). I agree with all of your points. The concept of the individual is under attack by many different fronts. Political parties, religions, governments, and social movements tend to not like individuals. Individuals are harder to control than people who are more comfortable being identified as part of a group. Individuals think more, well, independently and are not as easily swayed by slogans, talking points, or dogma.

As to whether or not Morgan Freeman should run for president…I’m not quite ready to endorse him just yet. I need to know more about him, though I much prefer his ‘it takes an individual’ philosophy to Hillary Clinton’s ‘it takes a village’ nonsense. I also agree with you about the acting skills one needs to be a successful politician. There is a great deal of theatrics involved in politics. Some go as far as to say that politics is the ‘Hollywood’ for the ugly.

5:22 PM  
Blogger Kimeticsolutions said...

As a child I really enjoyed idolizing Morgan Freeman because he looks like me-you know! Role modelship! The hard cold facts of race however , continues to be depicted not only in his movies i.e. "Glory" but in more recent genres like "Crash". Mr. Freeman is no Charles Barkley, Ward Connelly or Shelby Steele but I think if he were to step back in time oh three or four decades ago, he may not have made such utterances! To make profound statements like that are selfish and egotistical. His ancestors are probably rolling over in their graves! Such pomp yet under sad circumstances does his new found classist views get such play! Wow! Individualism..It's the new trend..everybodies doin it!!

8:40 PM  
Blogger OmegaSupreme said...

One moment, Mr Freeman!

Newsflash! Aliens are amongst us and they are looking for scholarships and loans.

Me and my brothers were watching the “alien” film DreamCatcher in which you played a “very Bad Man” the other day, and he commented that it’s hard to think of you as ever being young. So I set my mind to it, and I couldn’t think of one feature film in which I had seen you as a young man. I guess I haven’t done my research since I am sure you didn’t just drop out of the sky. But as far back as the time you were driving Miss Daisy you were already well - a matured specimen, and neither were you young in the 2 nice films I have seen of you starring alongside my ultimate film icon “Clint with the Killer Squint.” The cowboy film in which you went “missing” before the end and of course a “Million Dollar Baby”. (Darn it! Now I have put my foot in it! I was hoping to write a sequel titled “One moment, Mr Clint” if this one didn’t pan out. Maybe I could always right Mrs JK Rowling instead and offer her a year’s free computer support in exchange for a Scholarship - after I finish my Masters of course – the computer services I mean!). And yes, I have read the entry on you at Wikipaedia.com and also on IMDB.com. Thinking of it now, my dad’s got only 6 years on you (6 years older than you I mean) and no I am not that old – just 31 pleeeassseee!

Scholarships are very scarce in my neck of the woods. You need to have a brain the size of a Grundig TV to snaggle one. If you are like me with a God-given 10kg brain, you’ve got quite some hurdle to overcome.
And why am I look for a scholarship in quotes?. Well, it turns out I wasn’t smart enough for a first class certificate in my First Degree course but I made a very close second class upper – now, if I hadn’t been looking so shell-socked at the tall buildings in my first year in the UNI and let that cumulative G.P. become a runway Grand Prix with my grades...just maybe... Maybe I should have dropped out of school like Oracle’s chief (Larry Ellison) was reported to have suggested to some undergraduates at some graduation seminar ... Ah what fate! I could be heading my own mega-congloromate by now! Alas, I stayed in school for 6 years only to discover at the end of it all that I knew nothing about what I was taught something!

I am not sure you have ever visited Africa. If not, pack your bags and head for Nigeria (yes, Africa = Nigeria and vice versa – just joking!). The people are reputed to be the happiest on earth. Personally I think not, the reality is that they just got used to their situation. Ok, I have gone and done it now. I hang my head up in shame! Tis another 419 scam :-(

The plain fact is that I need some money to do my Masters in Computer Science (E-commerce Technology) for which I have already secured a place in the 500year old University of Aberdeen in Scotland. My student number is 06954412. The details can be confirmed from the school's Admissions unit. If you don’t mind my being indebted to you for 2 years, then I would be much obliged if you will lend me the money. The course is for a year and I intend to pay back the money within the next year after the course. We could come to an arrangement whereby you pay the school directly and in return the school hands you my graduate certificate which you will return to me upon repayment of the fund.
My email address is mastersataberdeen@yahoo.com and my details are with the Editor and can be verified – yes, I was thinking of sending this “letter” to the NewYork Times or some other paper :-) but ended up posting it here. I have got myself a website which should make some interesting reading and also my contains my details – the link is available upon request.

Alternatively, since I am sure you probably have no free money (is there anything like that? No free lunch this side of the Pearly Gates) to hand out, I could give you a year’s option on my brother’s script – not totally sure what that means even though I have a good idea – if Wole Soyinka said it, must have made sense :-) Yes, I have a script which my brother wrote. It’s the sequel for a comic-based film that flopped some years back. It’s already in “script” form. I know you have some sort of film Distribution Company involved in what some may call controversial business – distribution over the Net. How far with the venture? If you read the script and you find that it is top notch (which I believe you will), I guess you can take up the right’s issue with the owners of the copyright of the comic character(s).

Recommended Film: “Flame trees of Tika” - the cooks says “why waste so much sugar”
Recommended reading: you look like someone who will know a good laugh if it tickles your chin. Try “The HENRY ROOT Letters” if you can get hold of a copy.
Or try Wole Soyinka’s "Ibadan" – a short introduction to Nigerian life and politics:-)

You may notice I am making light of a very serious issue – but if the piece isn’t at least funny, I am sure no paper will publish it.

May you have many more years upon the face of the good earth to make many more films. Amen!

3:00 PM  
Blogger Bradly Jones said...

Thanks for the post. It's like five years of not being in Nigeria has finally made me out-dated for this to be news to me. The change is amazing. Great blog!



--
call Nigeria

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