Morgan Freeman Knows Little About Race and Income Inequality

don’t care what anybody says: Morgan Freeman will always hold a special place in my heart. Mr. Electric Company played God in Bruce Almighty for crying out loud. Not saying that he can do no wrong (rumors of being involved with his own “step-granddaughter” is rather strange). However, some transgressions can be looked past. At the end of the day, I hold Morgan Freeman in high esteem.

Just because I hold someone in high esteem, however, does not mean that I won’t be critical of their views that are just plain absent of truth.

Morgan Freeman And the Interview

In a recent interview with Don Lemon, Morgan Freeman made it known about his feelings toward wealth distribution. Promoting his new series Through The Wormhole off of the Science Channel, Freeman sung the praises for Obama on his approach to income inequality. After that, things got dicey:

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? 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.” [1]

Lemon, in response, noted how much he did not like to continue to talk about race all of the time [2]. In short, it seems that these two men agree on something: they would rather not talk about race as it stands in America.


morgan-freeman_says_obama_not_first_black_presidentMorgan Freeman and His Confusion

In fact, they are tired of talking about race as it is. For me, I am tired as well. The only problem is that the issue exists. The other problem is this: Morgan Freeman, for all of his knowledge, has no clue what he is talking about. And I can break this down for you with five easy facts. Pay attention:

1.)    The wealth gap has widened since the recession: As of 2010, white families, on average, earned about $2 for every $1 that black and Hispanic families earned. This ratio has remained constant for three decades. As measured by assets, like cash savings, homes and retirement accounts, minus debts, like mortgages and credit card balances — white families have far outpaced black and Hispanic ones. Before the recession, non-Hispanic white families, on average, were about four times as wealthy as nonwhite families: by 2010, whites were about six times as wealthy.

2.)    The dollar value gap has grown as well: By the most recent data, the average white family had about $632,000 in wealth, versus $98,000 for black families and $110,000 for Hispanic families. Meaning: whites have more wealth than others (on average).

3.)    The housing downturn helped caused this madness: housing downturn hit black and Hispanic households harder than it hit white households. Many families bought houses before the downturn just to be saddled with expenses because the homes lost value.

4.)    Who lost the most wealth? Not whites: All in all, Hispanic families lost 44 percent of their wealth between 2007 and 2010, the Urban Institute estimates, and black families lost 31 percent. White families, by comparison, lost 11 percent of their wealth.

5.)    Morgan Freeman and Don Lemon are outliers: They do not have to worry about these burdens because they do not go through them. They have wealth. They are pretty “safe” when it comes to the recession. So, for them to actually speak on collective experiences that they are absent from can be troubling. One should not be a weatherman if all they experience is sunshine with glasses of lemonade.

I respect Morgan Freeman’s achievements and even his opinions. However, he had no clue as to what he was talking about. Maybe next time, he could make suggestions for building wealth outside of the housing market. Or, maybe he could actually do his homework. In summary, this is just another example of asking someone a question about a subject they have no knowledge, wisdom, or understanding of.

Morgan Freeman, I love you like a grand daddy. But please talk what you know and know what you talk.