Anthony Mackie got emotional as he spoke about the Black Lives Matter protests during an appearance on Thursday’s “Tonight Show”.
Mackie discussed being a father to two Black sons and how hard it’s been trying to explain to them that these figures you’re supposed to admire don’t always do good things.
The actor shared, “When I was growing up, like most boys, you want to be a fireman or a police officer.
“And then comes the harsh reality of the day that you have to tell your kids that, you know, you have to open their eyes to what the world is around them, to how police view them as young Black men.”
Mackie added of his boys: “They don’t understand the lack of humanity in a person to do that to another person. They’re 11 and seven years old.”
The star talked about visiting the balcony where Martin Luther King was assassinated, fighting back the tears as he said: “It blew my mind to think that this man worked so hard, and gave his life. Yet here we are, 50 years later, 55 years later, dealing with the exact same thing.”
“And that’s what hurts. Because I know my grandfather was a sharecropper. My dad was a contractor. And he had to drop out of school in eighth grade to work with his grandfather so that he could give me the opportunity to go to Juilliard and be a stupid actor.”
Mackie also urged people to vote and go to his website I Am A Man, which aims to register one million men to vote.
“If you have a nephew, if you have a cousin, if you have a friend, if you have a young man who needs information, send him to this website. Send him to our page,” Mackie said. “We will register him, we will educate him, and we will help him vote ’cause that’s our power. That’s where the strength comes in.”