Will Smith Recalls Getting Called Racial Slurs By Cops And Being Stopped 'Frequently' Growing Up In West Philadelphia!
Amid the Black Lives Matter protests, Will Smith is also opening up about his own experience growing up as a black man. That being said, the famous actor revealed that when he was only a boy living in West Philadelphia, life was rather scary for him.
Will revealed that he would be called racial slurs by police officers and at some point, his heart would start pounding when cops were around.
That’s right! Will recalled being called the N-word by the police many times while a guest on the On One with Angela Rye podcast.
‘I grew up in [West] Philadelphia under Mayor Rizzo. He went from chief of police to being the mayor, and he had an iron hand.’
Rizzo was the police commissioner from the year Will was born, which is 1968 to 1971 and he was then elected as the mayor of Philly the following year, serving in that position for two terms.
The man is known for strongly opposing de-segregation in schools and just having a generally tense relationship with the black community.
‘I’ve been called ni***r by the cops in Philly on more than ten occasions. The police when I were growing up moved with impunity in Philly. I understand what it is like to be in those circumstances with police, to feel like you have been occupied. It is an occupying force. White kids were happy when cops showed up, but my heart always started pounding,’ Will stated, adding that he was stopped frequently.
‘There is a part of this that people who don’t grow up with it you can’t comprehend what it actually feels like to live in an occupied territory. We're in a circumstance that we have never been in before. The whole globe stood up and said to the African-American people, ‘We see and we hear you. How can we help?’ We have never been there before,’ Will told the host, also touching upon the BLM protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd.