He cautioned against alienating certain groups, “because then people who would help you won’t.”
There have been several highlights from Will Smith’s sit-down with GQ. Many of his quotes have gone viral, including bits about polyamory in his marriage to Jada Pinkett-Smith to his explanation regarding why he has actively avoided starring in films about American slavery. Another snippet of the conversation has sparked a debate as Smith gave his thoughts on the misdirections of the phrase, “defund the police.”
“I just want to encourage Black Americans to take the acknowledgment and seize upon the present global opportunities,” the award-winning actor said. “I would just like us to argue less about certain things and pay attention to the big ripe fruit.”
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The interviewer questioned Smith about his statement and asked for him to specify a topic that should be argued less, as the actor stated. “This is a pitfall area,” Smith answered.
“So ‘Abolish the police. Defund the police.’ I would love if we would just say ‘Defund the bad police.’ It’s almost like I want, as Black Americans, for us to change our marketing for the new position we’re in,” said Smith. “So ‘critical race theory,’ just call it ‘truth theory.’ The pendulum is swinging in our direction beautifully. And there’s a certain humility that will most capitalize on the moment for the future of Black Americans, without discounting the difficulty and the pain and the emotion.
“This is a difficult area to discuss, but I feel like the simplicity of Black Lives Matter was perfect. Anybody who tries to debate Black Lives Matter looks ridiculous. So when I talk about the marketing of our ideas, Black Lives Matter was perfection.”
He added that “Black Lives Matter gets it done” but “‘Defund the police’ doesn’t get it done, no matter how good the ideas are.” Smith clarified that he believes there is a need for change. “I’m not saying we shouldn’t defund the police. I’m saying, just don’t say that, because then people who would help you won’t.”