Actor James Earl Jones appeared on the public-radio show Smiley & West last weekend and discussed how he stuttered as a teenager. “There’s a certain terror I still have about confronting people. I can’t debate, I can’t argue, I fall apart...I cannot be an activist, for instance, because of that.”
But as Brian Maloney reported, host Tavis Smiley wanted to draw his politics out. Jones quickly obliged by saying he simply cannot get enough of watching MSNBC, even though he is the voice of CNN, and agrees with the MSNBC notion that the Tea Party must be racist to oppose Obama (audio and transcript below):
TAVIS SMILEY: You suggested earlier in this conversation that there are reasons why you have never been and will never be an activist. Obviously you have played on the stage and on the screen roles that were political in nature. You referenced Obama a moment ago. Are you a political person, though? You might not be an activist, but are you a political junkie, are you a political person in any way?
JAMES EARL JONES: I listen as much as I can. I’m always on MSNBC. I can’t get enough of it. I even venture into the right wing talk shows sometimes.
SMILEY: So sometimes you turn to Fox then?
WEST: Nothing wrong with that. You want to find out why people are wrong as well as right, you know what I mean. [Laughter]
JONES: Knowledge is all over the place.
WEST: Absolutely. You can learn from anybody, any perspective in that sense, absolutely.
JONES: I think I 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 Cherokee Choctaw Indian, part black. She hated everybody. She taught all of her children and grandchildren to be racist, to hate white people and to distrust black people.
CORNEL WEST: Who does she love then?
WEST: Nobody at all.
JONES: But that allowed me to figure it out for myself. I think I know what racism is better than anybody who’s ever been a racist.