Mahershala Ali Opens Up About His Black Experience In America
"I think African-Americans have a very convoluted relationship with patriotism."
...The Oscar-winning actor got real about his experience as an African-American in America.
An experience that has included racial profiling since he was as young as 10 years old to being celebrated by white America after starring in Moonlight.
“When suddenly you go from being followed in Barneys to being fawned over, it will mess with your head.”
As a child, Mahershala says he remembers watching people hide their rings and possessions from him as he rode the subway.
Those experiences that you have from age 10, when you start getting these little messages that you are something to be feared.
And even after being introduced to fame, minding his business just wasn't enough:
Walking down the street in Berkeley and some cops roll up on you and say straight up, ‘Give me your ID,’ and you’re like, ‘What the fuck?’
The 43-year-old new father also gave his opinion on the black experience as a whole, relating it to a broken family dynamic:
I think African-Americans have a very convoluted relationship with patriotism. The fact is, we essentially were the abused child. We still love the parent, but you can’t overlook the fact that we have a very convoluted relationship with the parent.
Adding that his love for this country doesn't hide his concern for it's current state:
I absolutely love this country, but like so many people have some real questions and concerns about how things have gone down over the years and where we’re at. And that’s from a place of love, because I want the country to be what it says it is on paper.
But despite the dark times this country has faced, Mahershala believes there are better days to come:
I sincerely believe we have the capacity to actually make this country great. There are enough people, there are enough believers out there, there are enough intelligent, empathetic souls out there that want good for the whole. I don’t know if it’ll happen in my lifetime, but I believe in time the pendulum will swing in the right direction.