Denzel Washington is getting some backlash from the left this week after he blamed black-on-black crime on the lack of a strong family unit, rather than on the prison system in the U.S.
In “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” Denzel Washington plays an idealistic defense attorney whose beliefs are tested when he joins a new law firm.
The Oscar winner says making the film did not make him more cynical about the justice system and, when asked about the prison-industrial complex, the “Malcolm X” star offered a surprising take.
“It starts at the home,” he told reporters at the film’s downtown New York premiere. “It starts at home.”
When prodded to expand on his answer, the 62-year-old Mount Vernon native replied: “It starts with how you raise your children. 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,” he continued. “It’s unfortunate that we make such easy work for them.”
Left-wing Twitter users immediately attacked Washington for his comments and portrayed him as a traitor to the black community:
Unfortunately, this victimization mentality of the black community is a direct result of the eight years Barack Obama spent dividing Americans along racial lines. Instead of empowering members of the black community, Obama made them feel like victims of a system that is rigged against them.
What Washington is trying to say here is that the real problem for blacks in the U.S. is not the prison system, as people are already in trouble long before they get there.
Rather, the problem blacks in our society are facing right now is the break-down of the family unit. Last year's U.S. census revealed that a staggering 71.3 per cent of black children grow up in single parent households. Without a strong family unit at home, young people are increasingly turning to street gangs to find a sense of belonging.
What Washington said was not anti-black at all. Instead, it was a call of arms of sorts for members of the black community, intended to encourage them to work on building stronger families, rather than blaming the system for their problems.