Will Smith Says He’s Never Met A Smart Racist
Will Smith said he’s never met a smart racist person in a discussion about his experiences of growing up as a Black person in the US.
The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and I Am Legend actor appeared on the Pod Save America podcast on Monday, March 1, to promote his upcoming Netflix series Amend: The Fight For America.
The six-part docuseries, hosted by Smith, guides viewers through the chronology of the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution, which outlines the rights of citizens under ‘the equal protection of the law’, and addresses its impacts on Black people, women’s suffrage, abortion and gay marriage with comments from experts and activists.
Hear Smith discuss his personal experiences with racism below. Warning: contains language viewers may find offensive:
Smith explained that he has been called the n-word to his face ‘probably five or six times’, but ‘fortunately for [his] psyche’, he has never been called the n-word by a ‘smart person’.
I grew up with the impression that racists and racism were stupid, and they were easy to get around. I just had to be smarter now while they were very dangerous. I had never looked into the eyes of a racist and saw anything that I perceived as intellect.
The actor said he began to encounter more systemic racism when he began his acting career, though he noticed there was a ‘difference between ignorance and evil’.
Highlighting the importance of education in helping to avoid this ignorance, Smith explained:
Fortunately, ignorance is more prevalent than blatant evil, so I’ve always been encouraged that the process of education and understanding could alleviate some of the more dangerous and difficult aspects of racism that have unfortunately been embedded in the very fibres of our country.
The Men in Black star also discussed his political ambitions during his appearance on the podcast, revealing that he might consider running for office ‘at some point’ in the future.
He said he ‘absolutely’ has a political opinion and that he believes in the possibility of social harmony and fostering understanding between people, though he’s going to let the office ‘get cleaned up a little bit’ before considering his moves ‘at some point down the line’.
Smith explained, ‘I will certainly do my part, whether it remains artistic or, at some point, ventures into the political arena.’
Amend: The Fight For America is available to stream now on Netflix.
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CreditsPod Saves America/Twitter
Pod Saves America/Twitter