Actor James Earl Jones, appearing Sunday on Public Radio International’s Smiley & West radio show, told Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West that the Tea Party is racist. Jones, 81, recounts growing up and his grandmother’s beliefs.
JAMES EARL JONES: I think I have figured out the Tea Party I think I I do understand racism because I was taught to be one by my grandmother. My grandmother was part [tribal affiliation] Indian part black, she hated everybody and she taught all of her children and grandchildren to be racist to hate white people and to distrust black people.
DR CORNEL WEST: Who does she love then?
JAMES EARL JONES: Nobody
WEST: Nobody at all.
JAMES EARL JONES: But that allowed me to figure it out for myself. And I think I know what racism is better than anyone who has ever been a racist.
James Earl Jones, called ”one of the greatest actors in American history,” may be best-known as the voice of Darth Vader in Star Wars.
Audio and transcript via Brian Maloney
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