Will Smith Recalls Being Called the N-Word and Weighs in on Social Change

by Jeremy Spirogis
Will Smith

Will Smith could also be a global famous person, however he has additionally lived with the truth of being Black in America — specifically, being known as the [N-word]. The entertainer sat down for a frank dialog with political commentator and analyst, Angela Rye, to debate today’s period of social change, and who precisely known as him a [N-word].

Will Smith
Will Smith | Al Bello/Getty Images

Smith commented on social change throughout the COVID-19 pandemic

In a video posted to the actor’s YouTube channel, Smith and Rye discussed the present societal local weather, and famous the worldwide response to the killing of George Floyd, amongst different Black Americans who’ve died in police custody. Floyd died after Officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck, ignored his cries for assist, and remained in place till Floyd grew to become immobile.

The video of the occasion
went viral and set off a collection of protests and requires justice within the Floyd
case and quite a few others involving Black Americans and regulation enforcement. Smith acknowledged
that he’s “deeply encouraged” by the peaceable protestors, and stated
this in regards to the worldwide motion:

It’s like everyone was sitting at residence their units when what felt like a brand new atrocity to some folks however was taking place again and again for African Americans. And for this to occur on this time for the entire world to see what we’ve been saying for tons of of years. My grandmother taught me to attempt to be glad about these instances, and these alternatives, to attempt to be glad about your ache. And we’re in a circumstance that we’ve by no means been earlier than. The total globe has stood up and stated to the African American folks, “We see you, and we hear you. How can we help.” We’ve by no means been there earlier than.

Will Smith on YouTube

recalled going through racism and being known as the N-word

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famous that some people would possibly assume that Smith is proof against discrimination
as a result of his famous person standing. Smith responded to that false impression, described
his experiences with racism, and detailed incidents of being known as the N-word.
Smith defined the next:

I grew up below [Philadelphia] Mayor Rizzo. You know, he went from the chief of police to changing into the mayor, and he had an iron hand.

I’ve been known as [N-word] by the cops in Philly on greater than ten events. I obtained stopped incessantly. So, I perceive what it’s wish to be in these circumstances with the police, to feeling such as you’ve been occupied. It’s an occupying pressure.

But I went to high school out within the suburbs, so I went to Catholic faculty. So, I perceive what the disparities are in a extremely fascinating method. White youngsters have been completely satisfied when the cops confirmed up, and my coronary heart at all times began pounding.

There’s part of this that individuals who don’t develop up in that, you simply can’t comprehend. You simply can’t comprehend what it feels wish to really feel such as you’re dwelling in occupied territory.

Will Smith on YouTube

Smith’s ultimate ideas

Smith ended the YouTube phase on a constructive word, expressing a want to present again and make a distinction. “I am pledging my unending devotion to the evolution of my community, and the evolution of my country, and ultimately the world toward the greatest harmony that we’ll be able to create. I am happy to be alive during this time, and to serve.”

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