Jesse Williams’ Inspiring Speech at 2016 BET Awards
The “Grey’s Anatomy” star blew everyone away when he accepted the 2016 BET Humanitarian Award with a speech calling society to task for racism.
Speaking on police-involved shootings of people of color, the actor/activist said he and others have been “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 are going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function and ours,” said Williams, who was out front during protests in Ferguson following the 2014 shooting death of teen Michael Brown.
Williams went on to add, “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, then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit,” he said. “The thing is, just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.”
His speech received a standing ovation and was hailed on social media. Artist Questlove tweeted “Can @iJesseWilliams run in 2016?”