Fact Check: About the Claim Morgan Freeman Said You Shouldn't Have to Pay Reparations if You Never Owned a Slave



Actor Morgan Freeman said, "If you've never owned a slave, why should you pay for slavery reparations?"


Rating: Labeled Satire
Rating: Labeled Satire

On July 2, 2024, the Facebook page America - Love It Or Leave It published an image positing that actor Morgan Freeman didn't see the need for contemporary people to pay Black people reparations for slavery:

(screen capture)

Caption: A lot of things don't make sense to Morgan Freeman. He also "despises" Black History Month

Alleged quote: If you've never owned a slave, why should you pay for slavery reparations?

This post had garnered 5,800 reactions and 653 comments as of this writing. Commenters responded enthusiastically to the post, with one exclaiming, "Morgan Freeman is a very smart and talented man!" Another said, "Listen to the Very Smart man! He makes common sense. Which we here are starting to loose a lot of!!!"

Unfortunately for the fans, this item was not a factual recounting of real-life events. The article originated with a page that is part of the America's Last Line of Defense (ALLOD) network of satire and parody sites, about which we've often written. In fact, in the pinned comment below the post, its author wrote a longer text suggesting the claim was made up and designed to get the attention of gullible seniors, as follows:

Yeah, I know. We're basically just taking stuff we see in dumb right-wing memes and adding a person, patriots, because it's an effective, albeit lazy, method of potato farming.

No. Morgan Freeman never said that. Or maybe he did. Who knows. It's in the meme specifically so you can watch as a bunch of privileged Boomers drool over the opportunity to ignore the 150 years of socioeconomic isolation suffered by the black community, robbing them of the chance for any sort of generational wealth. While your great-great-grandparents were stealing land from Indigenous people and laying claims that often still hold true today, blacks were being ushered into ghettos in droves and given no opportunity to adapt and integrate.

In places like Tulsa, they made their own wealth and communities. That didn't end well.

So enjoy the things you have and the opportunities you've been afforded for nothing other than existing while simultaneously denigrating people for feeling like their families, which have been here far longer than most, were cheated out of the chance of having their own legacy.

Or something like that.

In 2018, the Washington Post published a story (archived) about America's Last Line of Defense and its origins. "The more extreme we become, the more people believe it," its founder told the news outlet.

For background, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.