Will Smith Promotes Peaceful Protests, Recalls Police Abuse While Growing Up

Actor Will Smith jumped into the debate on police brutality by recalling his own experiences growing up in Philadelphia in the ’70s and ’80s.
Speaking with Angela Rye on her podcast “On One With Angela Rye,” Smith said that he was racially profiled and stopped frequently as a black man growing up under Mayor Frank Rizzo. He was reportedly called the N-word by police on several occasions.
“I grew up in Philadelphia. I grew up under Mayor Rizzo. He went from the chief of police to becoming the mayor, and he had an iron hand,” Smith said, as reported by Fox News. “I’ve been called n***** by the cops in Philly on more than ten occasions.”
While Smith appreciated what the current wave of protests have accomplished, he cautioned people against rage.
“We are in a circumstance that we’ve never been in before. The entire globe has stood up and said to the African American people, ‘We see you and we hear you. How can we help?’ We’ve never been there before,” he said, warning people that “rage is justified under oppression but it also can be really dangerous. You got to be careful not to be consumed by your own rage, and that’s something that I’ve worked really hard on.”
Smith noted that peaceful protests are a wonderful tool to expose the evil of those oppressing you.
“Peaceful protests put a mirror to the demonic imagery of your oppressor. And the more still you are in your peaceful protest, the more clear the mirror is for your oppressor — for the world to see and for them to see themselves,” he said.
Smith continued, “I was really encouraged by how powerfully this generation was able to hold that mirror, and then the response of the world seeing and responding. I was deeply encouraged by the innate connectivity of the protesters, globally.”
Though Smith unfortunately believes that racism will never fully be eliminated, he expressed hope that future generations will create harmony.
“I am pledging my unending devotion to the evolution of my community and the evolution of my country, and ultimately the world, towards the greatest harmony that we’ll be able to create,” Smith said. “I am happy to be alive during this time, and to serve.”

Following the death of George Floyd after a Minneapolis police officer used his knee to pin Floyd’s neck to the ground for more than eight minutes, Smith said that in times of crisis, people reach for their “higher selves.”
“You always have a fight you don’t see coming,” Smith said. “I think that there’s a historical river that is running red with the blood of truth tellers. The beauty of being American — when we’re scared, we reach for our higher selves, not our lower selves.”
Speaking with Stephen Colbert in 2016, Will Smith said that racism wasn’t getting worse in America, only that it was getting filmed.
“When I hear people say it’s worse than it’s ever been, I disagree completely,” Smith said. “We are talking about race in this country more clearly and openly than we have almost ever in the history of this country. Racism is not getting worse, it’s getting filmed.”
Will Smith Promotes Peaceful Protests, Recalls Police Abuse While Growing Up Will Smith Promotes Peaceful Protests, Recalls Police Abuse While Growing Up Reviewed by Your Destination on July 09, 2020 Rating: 5

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