Jada Pinkett Smith discusses 'white female superiority' on latest show: 'Many white women have made it clear that they believe they are prettier, smarter'

Nothing seems off-limits for Jada Pinkett Smith and the ladies on Red Table Talk. This week’s show saw them talking about racism, specifically the divide between women of color and white women.

Pinkett Smith — who appears on the Facebook show with her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Jones, and daughter, Willow Smith — invited famed diversity teacher Jane Elliott to the table for this week’s discussion. But it started with the three generations sharing various incidents in which they were victims of racism — and then Jada and her mom talking about how they didn’t immediately embrace a white woman who joined their family, but were more accepting to a white man who did. (Banfield-Jones admitted she once told Jada that she had to learn to get along with white people, but don’t ever bring them home.)

That led to a really candid conversation about what Jada described as a “huge gap” between women of color and white women. Jada said she wanted to examine it because, “We as women should know better. Because we are women. Because of the struggles that we have as women — there should be a natural understanding and familiarity of our struggle. And to be part of creating more of a struggle for another women for me is criminal.”

The fact that the division exists “really breaks my heart,” Jada said, “because white women understand what it feels to be oppressed, what it feels to be ostracized, or not being treated as an equal.”

Though Jada admitted to being guilty of prejudice against white women. One of her biases is against “blond women” — it “triggers” her, taking her back to being made fun of as a girl. She was teased about her hair and appearance. Of course, she admitted, that shouldn’t make her clump all blond, white woman together. (It wasn’t lost on her that she’s currently a blonde.)

Banfield-Jones also talked about her issue seeing women of color being “brainwashed” into only accepting the European standard of beauty. “Now, we can’t have anything to ourselves that we can call our own,” she said. “They have tanning booths. Now they’re trying to get brown. They’re putting injections into their lips. They’re putting injections into their behinds. We were ridiculed for that for years.”

That led to Jada admitting she has issues with the feminist movement and describes herself not as a feminist but a womanist. She says it’s “still focused on really middle-class white women.”

Jada and her mom both admitted that they need to examine their own biases in order to bridge the gap, and anti-racism activist Elliott was there to help; they were also joined by a white producer for much of the show. Elliott reiterated that we’re all one race: the human race.

Jada Pinkett Smith on Oct. 23 in New York City. (Photo: Jason Mendez/Getty Images)
Jada Pinkett Smith on Oct. 23 in New York City. (Photo: Jason Mendez/Getty Images)

To promote the online show on Monday, Jada posted a clip on social media and explained why she initiated the tough conversation. “The practice of white female superiority has been a subtle but brutal reality in my life,” she wrote. “Many white women have made it clear that they believe they are prettier, smarter, and the ‘standard’ of a ‘quality’ woman. Making it even more clear that because of this, black women are not worthy of their friendship or support in any substantial way. Some white women are unknowingly benefiting from this social standard, and some women of color are unknowingly suffering, which is why I believe this discussion is important.”

Though she admitted that in shooting the show, she realized “that superiority of any kind creates separatism. I have without a doubt practiced celebrity superiority only to realize it creates the SAME pain I experience from white female superiority. It’s more of the same in a different form.” She asked fans to remember that we’re all human — and to watch and “self evaluate” because “change starts within.”

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