(National Sentinel) Criminal Tendencies: Mega-star Denzel Washington has some advice for young black men and others who claim the American system of justice is skewed against them: It’s not.
In his new film, Washington plays an ambitious defense attorney whose beliefs begin to be tested in the aftermath of joining a new law firm.
Washington, 62, told the NY Daily News his latest role did not change the views he has on the justice system. Rather, he said the film actually repeated what he’s long believed is the root cause of so much black male incarceration.
“It starts with how you raise your children,” he said. “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,” Washington continued. “It’s unfortunate that we make such easy work for them.”
In an interview with Reuters, Washington reflected on the issue during his formidable teenage years.
“By the time we got to 13, 14, different things happened,” Washington recalled. “Now I was doing just as much as they were, but they went further.”
“I just didn’t get caught, but they kept going down that road and then they were in the hands of the system.”
While progressives like the film’s director, Dan Gilroy, continue to portray the justice system as inherently racist, Washington doesn’t seem to agree.
“It’s about the formative years,” he said. “You’re not born a criminal.”
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