Jada Pinkett Smith: In Her Own Words

March 3, 2005

What did Jada Pinkett Smith say that caused such outrage at Harvard? I was unable to find a transcript, but thanks to ace blogger Mickey Kaus, we located a Harvard Crimson article that quotes some of her “heteronormative” statements:

After being honored, Pinkett Smith gave a warm, teary thanks and shared life lessons with the audience.

“Don’t let anybody define who you are,” she said. “Don’t let them put you in a box. Don’t be afraid to break whatever ceiling anybody has put on you.”

She told the audience about her childhood with teenage parents both addicted to heroin, but triumphantly exclaimed, “I can stand here on this stage and say that I’ve proven them all wrong.”

She then addressed issues regarding the roles of men and women today.

“Women, you can have it all—a loving man, devoted husband, loving children, a fabulous career,” she said. “They say you gotta choose. Nah, nah, nah. We are a new generation of women. We got to set a new standard of rules around here. You can do whatever it is you want. All you have to do is want it.”

“To my men, open your mind, open your eyes to new ideas. Be open,” she added. In an interview after the show, Counter said Pinkett Smith was “the best we’ve had thus far.”

Those comments have led to protests? I’m speechless.

Schools:  Harvard University