There’s more than a little to chew on in Issac Chotnier of The New Republic’s interview with the Round Mound Of Rebound, and here’s an excerpt or three :

Has your perspective changed in the last few years?

Yes, when I realized that rich people will always be rich and the poor people are like crabs in a barrel. They are going to fight with each other, but they are really in the same boat. They want you to argue about gay marriage. They want you to argue about the war in Iraq. There is not a single person in this country in good conscience who can say the war in Iraq is going well. But then when you see someone criticize it … some other guy from the other party says he is badmouthing the troops. And I am like, “No he’s not.” We are able to disagree, and saying that the war in Iraq is not going well is not treason. Some of these guys want to try people for treason. The war in Iraq is not going well.

In some quarters Barack has been criticized for not being black enough.

Well, that’s because black people are fucked up. One of the reasons that black people are not going to be successful is because of other black people. We tell black kids that if they make good grades, they are acting white. If they speak well, we tell them that they are acting white. We have a lot of demons in our own closet–in our own family–that we have to address. But first of all, we want black men to be intelligent and articulate and things like that. That’s not acting white. That’s the way it should be. … We become our own worst enemy with random black-on-black crime, teen pregnancy, single-parent homes. You know we cannot blaming white America for our ills. Does racism exist? Of course it does. But, at some point, I have to make sure I am educated. I don’t have ten kids and no job. I am not killing other black people. At some point, you have to grow up.

In terms of the rap thing, you were famous for saying that you didn’t want to be a role model. Do you think that rappers who might be role models to kids have a responsibility to–have you changed your opinion on this subject at all?

We are really struggling in the black community because all our kids want to play sports or be rappers. And they don’t even think about being doctors or lawyers or engineers or teachers or firemen or policemen. That is what I tried to do. And everyone is figuring this shit out now. I figured it out when I made that commercial back then. Our kids are getting washed. They are confused. When I go to speak at these schools, 99 percent of these kids want to play sports. They aren’t gonna play sports. And that’s when I went to Nike about making that commercial. Now as far as the rap thing, I am not sure how I feel about that. … I used to say it is just music. Don’t these people have any common sense? But now I am starting to think, maybe they don’t have common sense.

You mentioned Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson earlier. What are your opinions of them?

I know them both, but they are race-baiters who have double standards for white racism and black racism.