Forest Whitaker Urges Americans to Unite in Troubled Times
Forest Whitaker has urged Americans to overcome their political divisions ahead of Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th U.S. President of the United States.
The African American star worries that unity will prove impossible under Trump, who has been accused of sexually assaulting women and using inflammatory race relations with his rhetoric, but he insists Americans have to try and find a way forward together.
“We have to come to the table and find some common ground,” the actor said during a chat with BBC News presenter Zeinab Badawi at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.” Right now we’re polarized. There’s a lot of people that are doubting that we’re going to move forward in a positive way, but we have to try.”
Despite encouraging his countrymen to try and heal their political divisions, he said he would back protests if Trump failed to govern for all Americans.
“And if it doesn’t happen, the people themselves have to stand up and speak — protest, movements, marches, however, to make their voices be heard,” he said.
Highlighting racial disparities in his homeland, he explained, “A young, black teenager is 20 times more likely to be killed, we have things we need to be working on.”
Despite the tensions simmering in the U.S., The Last King of Scotland star, 55, said outgoing President Barack Obama shouldn’t be regarded as having failed in his promise to heal America’s racial and political divisions.
“Obama didn’t fail, he changed the psyche of the nation and in some ways the world,” he continued. “We’re working on making those things stronger, to act like there isn’t some success is incorrect.”
Whitaker and pop singer Shakira were honored by WEF organizers on Monday, receiving the organization’s Crystal Award for humanitarian work.