Community and Politics

Jesse Williams’ Entire Speech and Why You Should Know More About Him

Jesse Williams is an eloquent speaker and always seems to hit the nail on the head when speaking about racism in America. He is very passionate about his work as an activist and works tirelessly to invoke change in a society that lives in complete denial.

When we hear certain names in our community they spark many different emotions in us, like Trayvon Martin, Jamonta Miles, Oscar Grant, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner and Michael Brown, just to name few. And Williams spoke out about all this questionable deaths.

While accepting his Humanitarian Award at the BET Awards, Williams stoke a cord in so many African Americas. I’m so happy he received the award because only he could have delivered that message and have it resonate with so many people. I’ve been following Jesse Williams since I first heard him speak about the Trayvon Martin case and the injustices blacks and people of color face on regular basis. The BET Awards has a lot of people checking Williams’ resume and now they know he’s so much more than just that cute dude from Grey’s Anatomy.

I wish I had time to list the many different quotes from Williams that will make you think and get up do something to incite change. “The master’s tools never tear down the master’s house,” he is letting us know this system was never built for us and we need to stop being surprised when a black victim is villainized in the media and a white criminal is humanized.

His speech at the BET awards was filled with thought provoking words, ideas and concepts of what we have to do to make a change in a society that truly will never get it.


Jesse Williams’ Humanitarian Award Acceptance Speech

” This award is not for me. This is for the real organizers all over the country, the activist, the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents, the families, the teachers, the students that are realizing that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do.

It’s kinda basic mathematics: the more we learn about who we are and how we got here the more we will mobilize.

This award is also for the black women in particular who have spent their lives nurturing everyone before themselves. We can and will do better for you.

Now, what we’ve been doing is looking at the data and we know that police somehow manage to de-escalate, disarm and not kill white people every day. So what’s going to happen is we’re going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function and ours.

I got more, y’all. Yesterday would have been young Tamir Rice’s 14th birthday so I don’t want to hear any more about how far we’ve come when paid public servants can pull a drive-by on a 12-year-old playing alone in a park in broad daylight, killing him on television, and then going home to make a sandwich.

Tell Rekia Boyd how it’s so much better to live in 2012 than 1612 or 1712. Tell that to Eric Garner, Sandra Bland.

The thing is though, all of us here are getting money, that alone isn’t going to stop this. Dedicating our lives to getting money just to give it right back, to put someone’s brand on our body — when we spent centuries praying with brands on our bodies, and now we pray to get paid for brands on our bodies?

There has been no war that we have not fought and died on the front lines of. There is no job we haven’t done, there is no tax they haven’t levied against us, and we have paid all of them.

But freedom is always conditional here. ‘You’re free!’ they keeping telling us. ‘But she would be alive if she hadn’t acted so… free.’

Now, freedom is always coming in the hereafter, but the hereafter is a hustle: We want it now.

Let’s get a couple of things straight. The burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander — that’s not our job so let’s stop with all that.

If you have a critique for our resistance then you’d better have an established record, a critique of our oppression.

If you have no interest in equal rights for black people then do not make suggestions to those who do: sit down.

“We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries, and we’re done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil — black gold!

Ghettoizing and demeaning our creations and stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit.

Just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real. Thank you.”

PUBLIC NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the I Am Beautiful 365, affiliates or partners.

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