Jada Pinkett-Smith knows what it’s like to be verbally assaulted by police for reasons based solely on her race, and she’s finally opening up about it.
Monday, during this week’s installment of her Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk, Pinkett-Smith, her mother Adrienne Banfield-Jones and daughter Willow Smith discussed the intractable problem of racism.
The three generations of women discussed the racial divide between white women and women of color, which TheGrio wrote an opinion piece about earlier this week.
All three came clean about their hesitance around white people, and the painful experiences that have caused them to react that way.
In one segment, Pinkett-Smith, 47, shared an anecdote about an encounter with racist police officers during the 1989 Greekfest riots in Virginia Beach, Va. In the midst of all the chaos, Pinkett-Smith said was rushing to the safety of her hotel, when two white male officers approached her.
“I have a lot of pain and a lot of hurt attached to some of the experiences I’ve had as well,” she said.
“I remember going to Virginia Beach. I was there by myself, terrified, trying to get back to my hotel. I will never forget, there were these two white officers. I was like, ‘I’m just trying to get down the street so I can get to my hotel’ and they said, ‘you better get your n***** b**** a** off this street right now.’ ”
The trio then segued to their varying perceptions of racism delivered at the hands of white men compared to that served up by white women.
“I think what crushes me specifically in regards to my relationship with white women [and] the thing that really breaks my heart… is that white women understand what it feels like to be oppressed,” Pinkett-Smith said.
“Because of their sex,” Willow interjected.
“Exactly! Because of their sex,” she responds. “[They know] what it feels like to be ostracized or not be treated as an equal.”
Check out the latest episode of the series, below: