Politics Vs. Pop Culture: Will Smith Takes On Donald Trump

Will Smith can be seen in the current hit DC Comics’ film adaptation Suicide Squad, but as anyone knows, he has not been shy about discussing political topics in the past. According to Entertainment Weekly, Will Smith took time during a Suicide Squad press conference in Dubai, India to discuss “Islamophobia” in America.

Donald Trump and his supporters eventually became the target of Smith’s commentary, as Trump has been under fire since last year for his statements about putting a temporary ban on those of the Islamic faith from immigrating to America.

The general Leftist thought, since Donald Trump shot his mouth off last year, was that he specifically meant to attack a religion, and is a terrible, evil, racist, bigot, but it is this entirely the truth or simple media exaggeration? Have other presidents taken a similar path? Let us analyze.

Will Smith Vs. Donald Trump: The Smack Talk

Will Smith has made his opinions of Donald Trump known prior to his Suicide Squad sit down in Dubai, as he went after Trump for his “fat pig” comments about Rosie O’Donnell, and honed in on Donald Trump’s candidacy as being part of a “separatist, non-inclusive, racist, xenophobic wave” across the world, as Breitbart News reported.

Smith went a little further when discussing “Islamophobia” at a Dubai press conference for his current flick Suicide Squad(Nope. This writer is not making the connection either).

“In terms of Islamophobia in America, for me, that’s why it’s important to show up. The Middle East can’t allow Fox News to be the arbiter of the imagery, you know. So cinema is a huge way to be able to deliver the truth of the soul of a place to a global audience,” said Smith.

No source seems to indicate how the topic arose, but celebrities tend to enjoy injecting themselves into politics. The usual talking points and tropes of “Fox News” this and “Fox News” that came out. Not defending Fox News, but CNN and MSNBC aren’t exactly quality journalism 99 percent of the time either(Think Wikileaks and the DNC).

In any case, it is hard to say definitively why Will Smith chose to delve into this discussion, but his next comments added Donald Trump and his supporters with a curious comment.

“As painful as it is to hear Donald Trump talk and as embarrassing as it is as an American to hear him talk, I think it’s good. We get to know who people are and now we get to cleanse it out of our country,” said Smith.

Will Smith isn’t unfair in his embarrassment and disgust with Donald Trump, as he certainly can rub people the wrong way, but looking to “cleanse” your country of people purely because they support a candidate you do not, seems a little ludicrous. Before we review a little of Will Smith’s knowledge of civics and politics, let’s see what “The Donald” actually said.

The official statement, which The Guardian has a more detailed version of him reading and explaining it, reads that Trump was calling for a “total and complete shutdown” of immigrants of Islamic persuasion because of data he found from the Center for Security Policy’ that stated “25 percent” of the Muslims polled had agreed that violence against Americans here in the U.S. is justified “as a part of the global jihad,” and 51 percent agreed that American Muslims “should have the choice of being governed according to Shariah.” The statement continued below.

“Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life,” said Trump.

The actual statement seems less caustic, in context than the reactionary media presentation of it. Donald Trump, love or hate him, may have a reasonable issue that is addressed in this statement. Maybe…maybe not.

So, is this statement and opinion unprecedented? Let us review the history.

The History: Donald Trump, Will Smith, And Past Presidents

Donald Trump is not the first presidential potential to suggest a change in immigration policy due to Islamic issues, though, the others were presidential… actuals.

President Jimmy Carter, formerly the most disliked president, once banned a Islamic people from a certain Islamic country in 1979. Carter banned Iranians from immigrating to America, signed an executive order to round-up 50,000 Iranian students, extra border screening, cancelled visas, et cetera during that time.

Carter based this off a prior immigration law called the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 that was authored by Democratic Senator Pat McCarran and Democratic Congressman Francis Walter. The ’52 law instituted quotas, and elements that many on the left loathe, but have started to round out Donald Trump’s immigration policies.

For anyone thinking Islamic terrorism and the issue with such radical philosophies are a 20th/21st century issue, look up Thomas Jefferson and the Barbary pirates.

Jimmy Carter Iranian Meeting
Donald Trump and Will Smith are both Democrats. Both have supported or donated to leftist Democratic politicians and political causes. More on Donald Trump’s leftist background can be found here. Americans are quite clear on Donald Trump’s knowledge of politics, but is there any example Mr. Smith’s?

A few years back, Will Smith was on another promotional tour that landed him in France. This was around the time that France’s new Socialist President Francois Hollande had taken the reigns, and instituted a weighty tax on wealthier French people in the country. Smith bragged about how it was essentially out of patriotism that he was thrilled to pay taxes. He paid 30 percent in taxes he boasted.

The French interviewer explained to him that the new taxes there were 75 percent on someone in his tax bracket. A stunned Smith choked, gasped, and comically said: “That’s why I’m proud to be an American.”

So, the final question to be answered is Who is right? Wrong? Did this even really matter?

The Verdict

It’s a draw. Will Smith has every right to hate, make fun of, and yes be embarrassed in other countries by him (Lord knows we all are). However, that really doesn’t extend to his bizarre, and kind of creepy comments about him and especially his supporters. One hates to say it, but if the shoe were on a Republican foot, would there have been more outrage?

Donald Trump’s comments are often mean-spirited, and he can be a bit of jerk, but there’s “nothing new under the sun” as they say. Nothing in what he said is unprecedented, and it’s been partially clarified.

[Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore/Walmart/Creative Commons]

David Joseph
David Joseph
Dave Joseph is your average underpaid 31 year old in Modern America. He went to school for electronics/computers. He went from Blogger, to Co-founder/Editor-In-Chief of an independent paper, then to writer, and soon to be author. Now, all trench coat and arrogance, he lends his Pop Culture knowledge of film, TV, and music, mixed occasionally with a politics chaser, to his scribbling for Monkeys Fighting Robots, amongst other locales. He likes long walks on the beach, trips to Philly, Horror anything, most music, tech, art, and ... et cetera. Stalk/follow him on Twitter @REALDaveJoseph.