Leslie Jones was armed with a sledgehammer the first time she participated in a protest march as a young woman, but she won’t recommend that other young protesters follow her example.
Jones revealed during an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers this week that many years ago when she was 22 years old, she joined a protest march wielding a sledgehammer. The Ghostbusters star admitted that she smashed things with the instrument.
“Don’t take that sledgehammer,” Jones advises protesters
When asked what she would do differently with the benefit of mature hindsight, Jones said she wouldn’t have taken the sledgehammer.
“I would say, ‘Don’t take that sledgehammer. Don’t take that sledgehammer.”
However, her sledgehammer proved useful during the protest many years ago. Jones recalled that it helped protesters breach a chain fence at a supermarket.
“Because the sledgehammer literally made me a hero in so many places. I opened up so many doors with that sledgehammer,” she added. “I remember I broke — and I have to tell you this — it was a supermarket and there was a chain fence and they couldn’t get it open. So, I came with my sledgehammer and… it went open and everybody was like, ‘Yeah!'”
Jones regrets her past actions amid George Floyd protests
But looking back after so many years, Jones, 52, regrets that she destroyed things with her sledgehammer while participating in a protest.
She recalled her past actions while driving through her city amid recent protests following the death of George Floyd in the hands of Minneapolis officers.
The sight of burnt down buildings and looted shops made her sad.
“I can laugh about it now, but imma tell you, I didn’t laugh when I was riding through my city after that and seeing burnt down buildings and having nowhere to shop,” Jones said. “And, you know, seeing black people crying about their business being burnt down. It wasn’t funny then, you know?”
She added that if she could confront her 22-year-old self, she would reprimand her and try to make her understand that she couldn’t change anything through destructive behavior.
“So, I think I would say to my 22-year-old self, ‘What do you think you’re gonna change by going out there with that?'”
Jones urged people to change things by voting in the upcoming election
Leslie Jones suggested that the best way to bring about change was for everyone to vote in the upcoming general election.
Jones’ comments come amid protests across the country following outrage over a video clip that showed a police officer kneeling on George Floyd’s neck.
Floyd could be heard pleading for his life and saying he couldn’t breathe shortly before he died.
The incident sparked protests across the country that turned violent, with widespread looting, vandalism, and arson.
Several other celebrities have come forward to urge protesters not to resort to violence.
Atlanta rapper Killer Mike recently appeared at a press conference with Atlanta’s Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms where he urged Atlantans to protest peacefully.