Hollywood icon Denzel Washington has always been a man of character who is more than willing to speak honestly about his opinions.
In the past he’s openly talked about his faith, his beliefs, and his morality. In a recent interview, he may have gotten too honest about the problems in black America. I should rephrase, he may have gotten too honest for his leftwing colleagues and the social justice warrior left.
Washington was speaking with reporters at the premiere of his new film Roman J. Israel, Esq. when he was asked if the movie’s story had made him more cynical about the America we live in? In the movie, Washington’s character plays a social justice activist who faces a tumultuous set of life changing events that put his beliefs and life’s work to the test – here’s a brief synopsis:
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Roman J. Israel, Esq. is set in the underbelly of the overburdened Los Angeles criminal court system. Denzel Washington stars as a driven, idealistic defense attorney whose life is upended when his mentor, a civil rights icon, dies. When he is recruited to join a firm led by one of the legendary man’s former students – the ambitious lawyer George Pierce (Colin Farrell) – and begins a friendship with a young champion of equal rights (Carmen Ejogo), a turbulent series of events ensue that will put the activism that has defined Roman’s career to the test.
Washington’s response to the reporter’s question, ‘are you more cynical about the American justice system and the prison industrial complex,’ is a breath of fresh air.
Instead of allowing the bad decisions made by many who end up in prison to go unpunished, Washington argued that our society’s criminal problems are NOT about the system…
“It starts at the home,” said the Oscar winner. “It starts at home.”
“It starts with how you raise your children,” he expounded. “If a young man doesn’t have a father figure, he’ll go find a father figure.”
“So you know I can’t blame the system. It’s unfortunate that we make such easy work for them,” Washington continued.
The actor got personal, discussing how he saw the fatherlessness epidemic affect those around him:
“I grew up with guys who did decades [in prison], and it had as much to do with their fathers not being in their lives as it did to do with any system,” said the 62-year-old. “Now I was doing just as much as they were, but they went further.”
“I just didn’t get caught, but they kept going down that road and then they were in the hands of the system,” he said. “But it’s about the formative years. You’re not born a criminal.“
We should be thankful for honest men, like Denzel Washington, who are willing to remind us (even when we don’t want to be reminded) that our actions have consequences and that at the end of the day we are responsible for ourselves.
Stop blaming the system and start reconstructing the American family.