Tags: Morgan Freeman | CNN | poverty | race

Morgan Freeman: Race, Poverty No Barriers to Success

Image: Morgan Freeman: Race, Poverty No Barriers to Success

Wednesday, 04 Jun 2014 07:42 AM

By Greg Richter

Anyone born in America today has the chance to succeed, and race and poverty are no barriers, actor Morgan Freeman said.

Freeman is promoting the new season of his Science Channel show "Through the Wormhole," and told CNN's Don Lemon on Tuesday that the show's first episode asks the question, "Is poverty genetic?"

Though scientists are studying the question, Freeman says he doesn't believe it is. Nurturing and environment do play a role, he said.

"If you're born in the U.S., it really doesn't matter the conditions of your birth," he said.

"Say you're born as one of the 'untouchables' in India. There you are. And if you are born into the super rich, there you are," Freeman said. "Here, you can be born to the super rich, but three or four generations down the line, it's gone."

Lemon said that some people don't like the "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" argument, saying that not everybody can do that.

"Bull----," Freeman responded. "Everybody can."

Lemon asked if race plays a role in wealth distribution.

"Today? No," Freeman said. "You and I, we're proof."

Both Lemon and Freeman are black and were born in the South.

Freeman is a champion of liberal causes, and said he believes in President Barack Obama's call for redistribution of wealth.

"It's a great idea," he said, explaining that society is more vibrant when there isn't such a chasm between the haves and have-nots. A healthy middle class, he said, is key.

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