DUBAI – Hollywood actor Samuel L Jackson called the American Muslims “the new black kids in America”, comparing the discrimination they now face in the US to that which African-Americans have experienced decades ago.
“Muslims are getting arrested like black kids get arrested, Muslim Americans are the new black kids in America,” he said according to the Hollywood Reporter earlier this month.
“Suspect as we are for the dominant culture, people don’t understand them. People perceive them as a threat before even saying hello.”
The comment by Jackson, best known for his roles in Quentin Tarantino’s movies such as “Hateful Eight”, “Django Unchained” and “Pulp Fiction”, came as he attended the Dubai International Film Festival to receive a lifetime achievement award.
Rejecting anti-Muslim discrimination, he added that American Muslim population are a vital part of the country.
“But the Muslim community is present in our country,” Jackson said.
“They are a vital part of our country and interestingly enough they have less crime, more education and their businesses thrive more than any other group in the country.
“You tell people in the Rust Belt that, and they’re like, ‘Get out of here’.”
The Rust Belt refers to the region of the US which encompasses the MidWest states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana which are dubbed the term after its once powerful industrial sector.
When asked by an audience member about his thoughts on Donald Trump, Jackson said, “My agent won’t let me answer that question.”