It's about our community and our spirituality!

No More Excuses Says Will Smith


“I love that all of our excuses have been removed. African-American excuses have been removed. There’s no white man trying to keep you down, because if he were really trying to keep you down, he would have done everything he could to keep Obama down. Yes, there are racist people who live here, absolutely. But they’re not the majority anymore.” – Will Smith on the election of Barack Obama for President

The first time I saw Will Smith act was in one of his episodes of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air.  I was not a Fresh Prince fan.  I was turned off by his stereotypical young black man focused on women and having a good time.  The character of Will Smith played by the actor Will Smith was too shallow for my taste.  But my brother was watching the show and I decided to do some brotherly bonding and sat down to watch it with him.  I came in on the middle of the show.  Bear with me as I try to recall the details.

Will had hidden in the back seat of a high end German automobile driven by his cousin Carlton Banks who Will often calls an Oreo.  They were driving through some posh neighborhood when they were pulled over by the police.  Will got out of the car and spread himself out on the hood, ready to be handcuffed and taken to jail.  His cousin Carlton was confused and didn’t understand the process.  It was late at night.  He was driving his father’s car and had a license so he didn’t know why he was being pulled over.  The two were taken into custody until their story could be checked out.  But they were thrown into a holding cell without an opportunity to call Carlton’s parents Judge Phillip Banks and wife.  Guards ignored the two as they passed by.  The wheels of justice had seized up and they were getting no where.  Will got the idea that if they confessed to some high profile crime they would get air time on the news and somebody would recognize them and tell Uncle Phil so he could come get them out of jail.  Sure enough the plan worked and they were quickly freed and they returned home.

The final scene had Carlton and Will talking.  Carlton was talking about how well the justice system worked while Will was trying to wake his brainwashed cousin up.  The only reason they were pulled over and taken into custody was that they were two young black men driving a high dollar piece of machinery after dark and they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.  The only reason they were released so quickly was because Carlton’s father was a well known judge.  The message was clear.  Not every black person has access to a high profile judge.  But certainly plenty of black people have the opportunity to be pulled over and taken into custody because some cop feels that black people don’t deserve nice things.  The only reason the system worked was because they had an ace card to play.  The episode ended with Carlton expressing doubts about the system he had so much faith in just a minute before.

Right then and there I thought I may have misjudged the program.  After watching a few other episodes I was quickly reminded why I didn’t particularly care for the show.  I simply couldn’t get past the constant jigging that the Will Smith character was so happy to do.  But still, certainly there were worse shows to watch.  The Cosby show featuring the Huxtables never once featured an episode where they had to face any issues common to black people.  At least the Fresh Prince was willing to go there.  I got the impression that maybe Will Smith understands.

That was years ago.  Maybe close to a couple of decades.  But nevertheless, I was surprised to hear Will Smith say that now that Mr. Obama is in the White House, black people don’t have an excuse as to why we don’t make it.  Going back to the Fresh Prince episode about Carlton Banks and his father Judge Phil Banks, Carlton should have had it made.  If the police had run the tags they would have seen that the car belonged to Judge Banks and that young Carlton’s last name was Banks and they would’ve easily put two and two together to realize that they’d better let him go about his way.  But instead, all the police knew was that they had taken a couple of potential problems off the street.  Judge Banks couldn’t protect his son Carlton from being racially profiled and discriminated against.  And the two sleep in the same house.

How does Mr. Smith figure that Mr. Obama being in the White House protects black people from discrimination in the future?  All I can think is that Mr. Smith spent a little too much time with one of those pens that flashes the red light and selectively erases people’s memories in Men In Black.  Or maybe Mr. Smith spent too much time looking at his statement from his accountant that showed how much he was worth with all the trailing zeroes and forgot how much racial discrimination is a part of the American way of life.

What can you expect from a black man who proudly promotes the fact that his black daughter Willow looks to someone of such questionable character as Paris Hilton as a role model?  From Mr. Smith’s high profile perspective, there’s nothing wrong with the system.  He got his and that’s all that matters.  Unfortunately, everyday that passes Will Smith becomes more like a caricature of Carlton Banks and less like the fresh prince from Philly.

Friday, January 30, 2009 - Posted by | Barack Obama, Black Community, Life, Racism, Thoughts, Will Smith


  1. I could only hope that his response was an emotional and not well thought out. But then again, he did portray the first Black superhero who was dysfunctional and went to prison.

    Comment by RiPPa | Friday, January 30, 2009 | Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback RiPPa,

      But for the longest time Will Smith has been distancing himself from the black community. With the exception of Martin Lawrence, most of his roles have been in movies where the other black characters have only bit parts. Mr. Smith has rarely made any statements about the welfare of the black community other than to say black people no longer have any excuses. Mr. Smith is more like Carlton Banks than Carlton Banks is.


      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Friday, January 30, 2009 | Reply

  2. Actually all that has happened is that the money has corroded his brains out. He now understands how much money he has to lose and refuses to go back to being that low paid Will Smith from Philly.

    Is Barack going to save [Will Smith’s] daughter from being racially profiled while out trying to be Paris Hilton speeding her high end car down Rodeo drive with a bag of marijuana in her purse, like Paris did? Is Barack going to come bail her out or is she going to have to rely on the Carlton Banks scenario and await rich daddy Will to do it?

    Then when he does bail her out is [Will Smith] going to make excuses for the reason why she got actually jailed while her role model didn’t? Will he tell his daughter that if she was Will Smith from Philly’s daughter she would still be sitting in jail?

    This seems to be a theme for blacks who “make” it. They stop singing U.N.I.T.Y. and start singing Show me the money. That is why crap can happen to blacks such Oscar Grant, the guy shot by BART police while handcuffed and you don’t hear a peep out of Will Smith, Barack Obama or any one of them.

    As far as I can see Oscar Grant nor his family have been helped in any way by Barack being in the White house. In fact according to Will they don’t have an excuse for not making it. Even though they just lost the bread winner of the home. Too bad Grant family, pick yourselves up by your bootstraps and don’t blame the white cop that took your father, husband, son or brother.

    And this right here is why people talk about sell outs, Uncle Tom’s and house negroes. It isn’t because they have made it. It is because they have chosen to forget, or chosen to ignore what blacks who are still out in the fields are struggling with.

    Sorry for the long reply, but a great post does that to you.


    Comment by theblacksentinel | Friday, January 30, 2009 | Reply

  3. I stopped watching guy’s like Will Smith,Martin Lawrence,Dave Chapelle,Tracey Morgan,Chris Tucker,the coonery and jiggin must stop.What gives these entertainers and athletes to be experts on the state of racism in black america? 50+ million americans did not vote for Barrack Obama,and 60% of the white votes went to Mc Cain.So Will says i have no more excuses? What a joke i work in the construction field and trust me folks white racism and sexism is alive and well, trust me.

    Comment by moderateblkmale | Friday, January 30, 2009 | Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback moderateblkmale,

      Unfortunately I feel the same way. It has been a long time since I’ve seen a black entertainment celebrity worthy of the black community. Maybe Mos Def. But few else. I know the last time I had to bust my ass and find a job things were cool when people talk to you over the phone. But then when they buy you a plane ticket and fly you across the country to do a face to face, all of a sudden there is a mix up or problems. No more excuses. But the reality is that racism is alive and well.


      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Friday, January 30, 2009 | Reply

  4. I read hope and optimism in Will’s comments. Nothing negative at all. I can’t even front like I’ve always worked my hardest and such, but I tell you what, damn if I’m not busting my ass now. Obama’s transcendence has inspired many of us to do the same, that’s the point; stop worrying about the negative and put some effort into achieving your dreams.

    If I may elaborate…

    Say what you want of Will’s jigging it up but it’s just not in everyone to be David Walker or Toussaint. I’m proud of the man and I appreciate that his music back in the day was respectful of our better halfs. I respect a silly guy who works hard and has sense enough not to disrespect women over supposedly touch and serious “soldier” who’d be down for revolution one minute but disparages his sista the next.

    For all the blood sweat & tears we’ve shed (and are shedding) it’s paramount to seize this moment of time and make the most of our individual selves which in turn makes the most of our collective self. I don’t know who/if Obama is talking to about brotha Oscar but I do know this: 1) The larger community won’t value Black life any more than we do, and 2) Oscar and countless others life has been lost and we honor them in making the most of the life we have left.


    Comment by Ant | Friday, January 30, 2009 | Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback AntBless,

      But what you call hope and optimism I see as denial and tolerance for the status quo. There is nothing positive about the way things are. How can we affect a change when people like Will Smith give the impression that nothing is no longer wrong? Why work to make things better when we can rest on our laurels because there are no more excuses?


      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Friday, January 30, 2009 | Reply

  5. Yeah, I stopped watching sellout smith a long time ago
    All that damn money he’s got and still jigging it up for whitey. I wonder if he can dance too?
    Fucking sellout sam!

    Comment by Shabazz | Friday, January 30, 2009 | Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback Shabazz,

      It’s good to see someone else refusing to patronize his form of entertainment. He might not be able to dance but I’m sure he’d be willing to give it a crack if that’s what the dominant community wanted to see from him.


      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Friday, January 30, 2009 | Reply

  6. I guess you didn’t see him on Inside The Actors Studio. He’ll dance alright… so will Barack (The Ellen DeGeneres Show).

    Comment by Damien | Saturday, January 31, 2009 | Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback Damien,

      I know he will dance. The question is can he dance.


      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Saturday, January 31, 2009 | Reply

  7. The Fresh Prince episode was pretty effective, though. I remember watching it with my daughter. Perhaps the writers of that episode — whoever they are — deserve the credit. It seemed that the show in this episode was designed to educate a mostly white audience that another reality exists, and should be changed.

    Comment by Betsy | Saturday, January 31, 2009 | Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback Betsy,

      I think that episode was also directed at black people like Carlton who think that everything is fine because the system works for them. The episode seemed to focus on the lack of compassion for less fortunate black people. Unfortunately, it appears that the episode was wasted on Mr. Smith.


      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Saturday, January 31, 2009 | Reply

  8. the truth is that on a common mans level Most people dont give a not sayin that racism is dead but the media does make it seem alot worse. Im whote ive been stoped by a cop. he was black he said “what the hell were you doni dint you see that stop sign, are you stupid or sumthin..” yet i dont think he was racist i just think he was an if i was black icould easily say he was racist. Brother peace maker..i grew up poor and with few the ghetto ..both whites and blacks lived there..i think that the common poor trash has too many problems to care about race.. this is my testimony..yes a ran with a clique(if you get what im sayin) I didnt se them as”First and foremost black people” that would be a dull world as everyone has a whole interestin universe inside of them..I saw them as thier name..if i really concentrated on it i could constantly remind myself that they are dark skinned..but thats so sad.. I tried explaining this to black sentinel..i guess i was ignorant about it(New orleans came out of me) lol..but she seemed to think thats its wrong not to notice color ..can you explain..i didnt grow up with racial separation..i wasnt truly aware of it till i moved to this racist city in st. louis..where i have been jumped,,and called ugly cracker, whitey, by black people. Ive been in soo many fights over this and im getting souwered by it..maybey you as a black mann in an obviously racist city explain all this.. I never saw a difference..thanks..____john

    Comment by John | Sunday, February 1, 2009 | Reply

  9. Id also like to point out that in my new hood..alot of suburb white kids want to make friends with suburb blacks..and the blacks feel like “they aint real or with it” enought to be their friends.. THese suburb black kids pretend to be gang bangers and iv already popped a few in the mouth for claiming a isnt that racism…isnt that holding back your color from rising to higher places? they have no reason to feel resentment cuz they rich and they werent the ones who had to be slaves..they get away with everything in school cuz “im black your racist” when i get ignorant..i get punished..these mutha fuckas are getting on my nerves..they aint real they leave it to beaver..and they are non expressive and uptight but act as tho they hard..can you explain this too? thanks_____john

    Comment by John | Sunday, February 1, 2009 | Reply

  10. also you need to tell your commenters to stop being so colorist themselves..if you dont want me saying the “n” word than dont say those people or whitey or just asking not tryin to demand but im sure you want diversity on your board..when im with my black friends we call eachother nigga and cracka out of play but i know these peopel on your page are serious……if your a peacemaker..please do something?

    Comment by John | Sunday, February 1, 2009 | Reply

  11. While John dwells in “victimhood”,

    (yes, I get a kick out of how whites tell blacks to stop being “victims” when in reality, it is because they want that position. His mindset is so expected and normal for whites these days and it is sad)

    There is a great article by Womanist Musings called “Will Smith, Whiteness and Racial Denial”

    I tend to agree Brother Peacemaker, Will Smith is becoming more and more like Carlton.

    Comment by rhondacoca | Saturday, February 7, 2009 | Reply

  12. Its funny, all these people making fun of someone who is a multi-millionaire. I think if anyone knows something about success, it should be he.

    Comment by Dman | Friday, March 15, 2013 | Reply

  13. You criticize Smith on this subject and question his judgement and decision making skills on parenting and life decisionso but I bet you applauded him for his boycott of the grammys.

    No excuses. Spread the mindset and maybe you can get the chip off your shoulder.

    Comment by Tony | Tuesday, January 26, 2016 | Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback Tony,

      But why would I applaud Will Smith for boycotting the grammys? It’s nothing more than a bunch of celebrities giving awards to other celebrities. What does that have to do with me or other people who have real lives to live on a day to day basis?

      No excuses! Defeat that mindset that you have that the status quo has something for you and you might be able to see the world for what it really is.


      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Tuesday, August 23, 2016 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: