Nominee James Earl Jones attends the 66th Annual Tony Awards at The Beacon Theatre on June 10, 2012 in New York City

*Actor James Earl Jones, who used to be the “voice of CNN,” was interviewed on Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West‘s syndicated Smiley & West radio show, where he was asked whether he is a “political person.”


Jones shared that he consumes as much political news as he can, particularly from MSNBC. “Can’t get enough of it,” he said. “I even venture into the right-wing talk shows sometimes.”

“Sometimes you turn to Fox?” his hosts asked.

“Nothing wrong with that,” said West. “You want to find out why people are wrong as well as right.”

“Knowledge is all over the place,” said Jones, before offering his thought on the Tea Party… and racism:

I think I figured out the Tea Party. I think I… I do understand racism, because I was taught to be one, by my grandmother. My grandmother was part Cherokee, Choctaw Indian, part black. She hated everybody. She taught all of her children and grandchildren to be racist, to hate white people, and to distrust black people.

This upbringing, he said, ultimately taught him how to think and observe for himself.

Listen below.