Chris Tucker on Jackie Chan

Defending Jackie
By Chris Tucker
*
It’s time for me to stand up for a friend. Jackie Chan, my good friend and co-star in the Rush Hour series of movies (We have made twelve of these films together, having released five in the West to date.) has drawn criticism for statements that imply or directly say that the Chinese people need to be controlled. 

Now first off, this is a good man with a good heart. He has entertained millions and is a true innovator in martial arts cinema. He is not a politician. To take this beloved figure and tarnish with political cheap shots does not show the appreciation this artist deserves.

Even if Jackie wasn’t taken out of context, or misunderstood (The guy’s gotten better, but he’s not the world’s greatest English language speaker.) let’s consider what he is reported to have said. “I’m gradually beginning to feel that we Chinese need to be controlled. If we’re not being controlled, we’ll just do what we want.” Now this isn’t the American way, but it sure as hell is the Chinese way. He’s just saying what is the popular point of view in his adopted home country. You might not hear it so crudely from any of the popular Chinese leadership, but China’s most likely going to stay pretty highly controlled, and they’re calling the shots these days, freedom or no.

So even if people disagree with what my man Jackie said, you have to defend his right to hold a point of view. THAT’s freedom. If everyone had the same point of view, none our supposed freedom would mean diddley. We have to tolerate a wide range of ideas.

For instance, some might find it odd that I, as a black man, feel that slavery was good for black people. It might have been a tough transition, but it brought us to America, and now we’re the coolest people in the world. We brought the world the Blues, Jazz, Rock and Hip Hop, which we wouldn’t have done than banging on a bongo. Would I be starring in movies today if I’d grown up in Africa? Doesn’t Rush Hour I-XII mean slavery was worth it? I know it was for me.

So don’t deride a man just because he believes something different than you. Celebrate the differences! That’s what America’s about, and if that’s not what China’s about, don’t live there, unless you have to. Leave my man Jackie alone!

–Chris Tucker as posted by Dan Kilian

Chronicles (Excerpts) by Bob Dylan

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