Will Smith has revealed that he suffered racial abuse at the hands of police while growing up in Philadelphia.
The 51-year-old actor said cops have called him racial slurs more than 10 times. He made the shocking revelation to Angela Rye on Wednesday while discussing police violence and the Black Lives Matters movement for her podcast "On One With Angela Rye."
"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 recalled. "I've been called [the “n” word] by the cops in Philly on more than 10 occasions."
The "Men In Black" star explained that the police "moved with impunity" during those times.
"White kids were happy when cops showed up and my heart always started pounding," he added.
Smith also touched upon the Black Lives Matters movement and the protests that arose following the death of George Floyd, who was killed at the hands of a police officer.
"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.
Smith said that the rage that has erupted among protesters can be justified amid oppression but added that it could also be 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," he said.
"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."
Smith said he found it "deeply encouraged by the innate connectivity of the protesters" and how people were coming together to support a cause globally.
"I am happy to be alive during this time, and to serve," he added.
Zoe Papadakis ✉
Zoe Papadakis is a Newsmax writer based in South Africa with two decades of experience specializing in media and entertainment. She has been in the news industry as a reporter, writer and editor for newspapers, magazine and websites.
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