Forest Whitaker thinks the lives of African-Americans are “progressing”.
The 59-year-old actor believes that living standards and opportunities for African-Americans are slowly improving, but he acknowledges that more work needs to be done in order to “correct” long-standing problems.
He said: “There’s certain inequities going on in the world, and abuses, but you can’t deny, as African-Americans, that we are progressing.
“That doesn’t mean that we … we have to look along the line and decide where we are in the journey. [There was a time when black people] weren’t allowed to live in certain neighbourhoods, they weren’t allowed to go to restaurants, they weren’t allowed to own homes … at one point, they were owned.”
Despite this, Whitaker acknowledged that true equality remains a long way off for the time being.
He told The Independent: “We have to acknowledge those things and those movements, but that doesn’t change the fact that people are suffering through inequities of healthcare, economics, abuses, brutality, those things are still occurring. And so we have to continue to try to correct those problems.”
The Hollywood star – whose film credits include ‘The Last King of Scotland’ and ‘Black Panther’ – previously cited Barack Obama’s success as proof of progress in the US.
Speaking in 2013 about the state of the world at the time, he explained: “It’s clear that things are always getting better in one way or another.
“It’s going from living in chains once upon a time to producing the leader of the free world. That’s a happy ending – enjoy it!”
Whitaker also observed that racial inequality isn’t unique to the US.
He said: “In Sweden they’ll be rioting against immigrants, in France they’re stopping women wearing burqas. You’ve had riots in Brixton in the past.”
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