Will Smith can currently be seen as the host of Netflix’s Amend: The Fight for America, which tackles the history of the 14th Amendment, especially as it relates to Black Americans. The miniseries is packed with powerful stories about fighting against hate and Smith has come to a simple conclusion when it comes to racists — they aren’t smart people.
During a March 1 episode with Pod Save America, the 52-year-old revealed, “I’ve been called n***** to my face probably five or six times. Fortunately for my psyche, I’ve never been called n***** by a smart person.”
Smith explained he grew up “with the impression that racists and racism were stupid. And they were easy to get around, I just had to be smarter.”
That said, he stressed racists are obviously “very dangerous,” but “never looked into the eyes of a racist and saw anything that I perceived as intellect.”
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However, after he blew up in Hollywood, which began as the star of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Smith saw another layer of bigotry, “I started seeing the ideas of systemic racism. But at the core of it, I noticed a difference between ignorance and evil. Now, they’re twins for sure, but ignorance can be educated. Evil is a much more difficult problem. Fortunately, ignorance is more prevalent than blatant evil.”
He added, “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 fibers of our country.”
Amend: The Fight for America is currently streaming on Netflix.