5 Apr 2021SEATTLETIMES.com
In an interview, after a player was accused of racism
I wasn’t there, so I don’t know what happened in that game, but it’s clear that we need to deal with racism with zero tolerance. We need to respect each other, that’s the most important thing.
In an interview with The Guardian
Roots was a massive responsibility because it is this foundational text in the States and it also resonates fairly strongly with pretty much any black community globally. I was made to watch this as a kid in Zimbabwe because this is a global history – one that we are still reckoning with, even if the British can try to detach themselves from that legacy of colonialism and slavery. As British people, we don’t often face what our role in history is. We’re only just beginning to do that. Storytellers have an incredibly important role in confronting that and continuing the conversation. We have to keep up the momentum, since we are beholden to our audiences to give them something of value and importance.
In an interview with Fox New’s Sean Hannity
I’ve said it many times and let me be clear again I condemn the kkk. I condemn all white supremacists. I condemn the proud boys. I don’t know much about the proud boys almost nothing but I condemn that. But he should condemn also Antifa. Antifa is a horrible group of people.
30 Jul 2019C-SPAN.org
Before White House departure
What I’ve done for African Americans in two and a half years, no president has been able to do anything like it. Unemployment at the lowest level in the history of our country for African Americans — nobody can beat that. You look at poverty levels, they’re doing better than they’ve ever done before. So many things. Opportunity zones. Criminal justice reform — President Obama couldn’t get it done.
18 Dec 2017VULTURE.com
In an interview with Vulture, talking about Trump
He’s made the racists come out. He’s made it acceptable for the white man to feel oppressed. [...] He makes my blood boil. I can’t even watch the news anymore because it makes me too stressed out. All jokes aside, all punch lines aside, I’m trying to get a message out there about him. I want our country to be great too, I want it to be the best it can be, but it’s not going to be that with him in charge. I remember when he was first sniffing around politics, I thought, We’ve tried everything else, why not him? Then — and I was watching it live — he had that speech where he said Mexico is sending us rapists and criminals. I got this feeling of what the f**k? From that point on, I knew it was going to be bad with him. What he’s doing putting people against each other is scary f*****g s**t. His election was such a disappointment to me about the state of the country. [...] I’m not going to give any away now, but I’ve got lines ready if he says something about me. I get almost flustered thinking about him — that’s how angry he makes me. The people that support him are the people he cares about the least and they don’t even realize it. At what point do you — a working-class citizen, someone who’s trying to make s**t better for you and your family — think this guy who’s never known struggle his entire f*****g life, who avoided the military because of bone spurs, who says he’s a billionaire, is really looking out for you? He’s got people brainwashed. [...] I hope he gets impeached. I’d be there for that. [...] What has he really done for you in the year since he’s been in office? The tax cut is not going to help the middle class. It’s going to help Donald Trump. That people don’t see that is so discouraging. You know, there was even a time when I was mad at what was going on. [...] Yeah, Trump had me so mad with all his bullshit that I was thinking, I hope everybody who voted for him gets fucked and learns a lesson. But that was wrong. I don’t want any voters to get fucked; everyone’s trying to improve their lives. I just feel mad that Trump’s sold people a dream that’s never coming true. I want the division in this country to stop.
At the White House, making a statement on the violence in Charlottesville
Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs including the KKK, neo-nazis white supremacist and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans. We are a nation founded on the truth that all of us are created equal. We are equal in the eyes of our Creator we are equal under the law and we are equal under our Constitution.
In an interview with Square Mile, talking about his movie about the little-known story of three brilliant black female NASA mathematicians
These young black women were so smart that their talent was recognised – and they had success in between the raindrops of racism. [...] I’ve been humiliated before in my life by a teache. I was in the fourth grade (aged nine), I remember I was scared, so can you imagine being humiliated everyday of your life? Racism is alive and well in America. [...] I said the N-word a thousand times as a child. That’s how you talked. But there comes a moment when you choose how you are going to be yourself. All of a sudden, telepathically you knew that word wasn’t funny; it fell flat like a coke that had no more bubbles in it, and it was gone, eliminated. Some people weren’t happy that I picked Whitney Houston to be my love interest in The Bodyguard – and that I kissed her; who wouldn’t want to kiss her? I don’t think those people were happy that I would do Hidden Figures.
In a campaign rally at the Ziegler Building at the Washington County Fair Park & Conference Center in West Bend, Wisconsin
I’m asking for the vote for every African-American citizen struggling in our society today who wants a different and much better future. […] Jobs, safety, opportunity, fair and equal representation: We reject the bigotry of Hillary Clinton which panders to, and talks down to, communities of color and sees them only as votes – that’s all they care about – not as individual human beings worthy of a better future.
In an interview with The Interview Magazine
Zimbabwe’s one of the youngest countries in the world, it became independent from British colonialism in the 1980s. In America, you can still feel the echoes of slavery, and Zimbabwe is very much feeling the echoes of British colonial rule. It’s very hard to craft an identity in that environment as a young, mixed raced man. I learned from the age of three that I was a walking political statement. Just by walking around with my face, I was saying, “My parents did a fairly revolutionary thing that pisses off some of you.” You learn that how you act associates you with certain groups. I remember there was a really nice nursery school fairly close to us; my mum took me along and there wasn’t enough room, and then my dad took me along and there was enough room. [...] Roots is not huge in London, but it depends on who you talk to. In the States it’s a little more ubiquitous. In the U.K., if I talk to any of my friends with a bit of melanin, they’ll know what I’m talking about. If I’m talking to my white friends, they won’t. You get more of a straight down divide in the U.K. I expect that it’s because we’re a little better at the whole PR exercise around that particular part of history in the U.K. We’re quite happy to go, “That’s an American story. We came in at the end and saved everyone because we abolished slavery in the U.K. so we’re the heroes,” which is actually complete bullshit. We’re very happy not to associate ourselves.
19 Nov 2015ARCHIVE.org
In an interview with AXSTv
I have a vast interest in race in this country. In the way blacks and whites have dealt with each other and, in particular, these last hundred years. It’s a theme that I can’t get away from. I always keep going back to it. But, it’s such an important theme in America, and such an ignored theme, for the most part, in Hollywood movies that I don’t really need much more of a theme, as long as I have that one. It doesn’t even always have to be about white and black, but it usually is. […] Not only do I think that it relates to it [THE HATEFUL EIGHT], I think it… might be the only movie coming out this year that actually directly addresses it to some degree or another… It addresses the chasm. It addresses the resentment… And it addresses how hard some hatchets are to bury. All that is actually dealt with. When I wrote the film, I wasn’t trying to make an overt political statement about today. But I really realized pretty quickly that, ‘Oh wow, this is kind of almost a blue state, red state Western.’ Because both communities are dealt with. And it’s not a bad guy, good guy thing either. Nobody’s really good in this movie.
In an interview with GQ
Finally, the issue of white supremacy is being talked about and dealt with. And it’s what the movie’s about. It was already in the script. It was already in the footage we shot. It just happens to be timely right now. We’re not trying to make it timely. It is timely. I love the fact that people are talking and dealing with the institutional racism that has existed in this country and been ignored. I feel like it’s another Sixties moment, where the people themselves had to expose how ugly they were before things could change.
2 Nov 2011THEWRAP.com
In a YouTube video
How come Jon Stewart gets away with a very, very racist rant about Herman Cain? Nobody else could pull that off. Where is Rev. Jesse Jackson? Where is Rev. Al Sharpton? Where are all the critics that if somebody else did it, it would be a disaster?
In an interview with Piers Morgan
The tea partiers who are controlling the Republican party stated — Their stated policy, publicly stated, is to do whatever it takes to see to it that Obama only serves one term. What underlines that? Screw the country, we’re going to do whatever we can to get this black man out of here.
22 Jun 2010NELSONMANDELA.org
In a visit to the Nelson Mandels Foundation
It is very important to be here because Nelson Mandela has written history, great history with a great H. The fact of the matter is, all of the world is [represented] here [through the many gifts] and that is because this man is very, very special.
5 Jan 1998THEGUARDIAN.com
In an interview with The Guardian
I kind of grew up surrounded by black culture. I went to an all black school. It is the culture that I identify with. I can identify with other cultures too; we all have a lot of people inside of us, and one of the ones inside of me is black. Don’t let the pigmentation fool you; it is a state of mind. It has affected me a lot in my work.
In an interview with Marie Brenner
Those phonies! That club called me and asked me if they could have my consent to use part of my beach to expand the space for their cabanas! I said, ‘Of course!’ Do you think if I wanted to be a member they would have turned me down? I wouldn’t join that club, because they don’t take blacks and Jews.