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Tavis Smiley: it's impossible to be a young black man and not have rage

PoliticKING with Larry KingApr 15 '16

Author & talk show host Tavis Smiley discusses turning the rage he has as a black man in this country into righteous rage. Plus, Larry King compares and contrasts Jackie Robinson's anger to Tavis Smiley. 


KING: There's something you don't have a lot of that a great American had a lot of, and that is anger. Jackie Robinson who I interviewed twice, he had a lot of anger. He lived for two years living where he wasn't himself. In the end though, he said "Don't put me in my grave with promises, I don't need promises." Didn't support Kennedy, supported Nixon because he thought Nixon was pragmatic. Where's your anger?

SMILEY: Oh, I've got it. I've got it.

KING: You do?

SMILEY: I talk about it in the book. But there's a lesson in the book that says "Find a righteous rage." Find a righteous rage. Every one of us is at some point or points in our life is going to be enraged. And you can't be a young black man in this country and not have rage.

KING: Absolutely.

SMILEY: It's just impossible man because the world treats you so hard. I believe that black men are the most maligned group of folk in this country historically. So you can't have to walk the journey everyday of being a black man without having anger. But the lesson I learned from that is that anger only does me good if I find a righteous rage. If I don't direct that anger into love and justice versus revenge and hate, then I'm in trouble. It doesn't do me any good. So I have anger. But it's a righteous indignation about what's wrong with the world, and so I use those energies to try to make a meaningful contribution rather than having a pity party or lashing out at other people.