Will Smith opened up about his experiences with racism growing up as a Black person in the U.S. in a candid new interview on the “Pod Save America” podcast this week.
The actor revealed he had been called the N-word to his face “probably five or six times,” but never by a “smart person.”
Smith, who has been promoting his new docuseries on the 14th Amendment, “Amend: The Fight For America”, shared, “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.”
He explained: “Now while they were very dangerous, I had never looked into the eyes of a racist and saw anything that I perceived as intellect.”
"Ignorance can be educated. Evil is a much more difficult problem. And fortunately, ignorance is more prevalent than blatant evil."
— Pod Save America (@PodSaveAmerica) March 1, 2021
Smith said how he experienced systemic racism when he started his career in acting, but he also saw the difference between ignorance and evil, adding: “They’re twins for sure.”
“Ignorance can be educated. Evil is a much more difficult problem,” the star 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.”