Thoughts of the Day

Something I Need…

A lot has been happening lately that directly affects the person that I’ve come to be and I can say I’m proud when someone, no matter who that person may be or what kind of influence they have, says what needs to be said.

Because no matter what community you feel you belong to, whether it’s the black community, the LGBT+ community, the feminist community, etc., it’s important to stand up and make your voice heard. Your life is important. You are important and you deserve equal rights.

Over the weekend, Activist and Actor, Jesse Williams, gave an empowered speech about racism in the US and the #BlackLivesMatter movement while accepting BET’s Humanitarian Award.

His speech moved me, empowered me, reminded me and stuck with me. It’s important to talk about these issues and to keep them on the forefront. It’s also more important to do something about it.

Here’s his speech in full:

This award, this is not for me. This is for the real organizers all over the country. The activists, 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.

All right? It’s kind of basic mathematics; the more we learn about who we are and how we got here, the more we will mobilize. Now, this is also in particular for the black women…who have spent their lifetimes dedicated to 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 everyday. So what’s going to happen is we are going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function in ours.

Now—I’ve got more, ya’ll. Yesterday would’ve been young Tamir Rice’s 14th birthday, so I don’t want to hear 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. Tell that to Sandra Bland. Tell that to Darrien Hunt.

Now, the thing is though, all of us in here getting money. That alone isn’t going to stop this. All right? Now dedicating our lives to get money just to give it back for 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 has been no job we haven’t done, there’s been no tax they haven’t levied against us, and we’ve paid all of them. But freedom is somehow always conditional here. “You’re free,” they keep telling us. But she would’ve been alive if she hadn’t acted so… “Free.”

Now, freedom is always coming in the hereafter. But, you know what though? The hereafter is a hustle. We want it now. And let’s get a couple of things straight, just a little side note: The burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander. That’s not our job, all right, stop with all that. If you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, then you better have an established record of critique for 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 credits for centuries, yo, 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 then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. The thing is, though, the real thing is that just because we’re magic, doesn’t mean we’re not real.

Thank you.

-Jesse Williams

Here’s a link to the video. I highly recommend not just watching, but listening and taking action.


2 thoughts on “Something I Need…

  1. Wow! Powerful, meaningful speech. Very thought provoking. Thanks for sharing. On Tue, Jun 28, 2016 at 9:15 AM Lead us from the Unreal to the Real wrote:

    > Katie posted: “A lot has been happening lately that directly affects the > person that I’ve come to be and I can say I’m proud when someone, no matter > who that person may be or what kind of influence they have, says what needs > to be said. Because no matter what community ” >

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