White Backlash Swift After Jesse Williams Delivers Powerful Speech on Black Oppression, Freedom at 2016 BET Awards

 During his acceptance speech for the Humanitarian Award at the 2016 BET Awards, actor and activist Jesse Williams calls out police brutality, recognizes the work of Black activists, and calls for mobilization of Black entertainers at Sunday’s big event.

The actor has been vocal for years about the injustices of the justice system and the lack of police convictions after officers have shot unarmed citizens. That passion for justice came through in the speech while he reminds the world that the fight is not over.

Williams says:

“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 then going home to make a sandwich.”

“This is for the real organizers all over the country, activist civil rights attorneys, the parents, the teachers, the students who are realizing that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do. All right?” he explains in the speech. “It’s kind of basic mathematics, the more we learn about who we are and how we got here, the more we will mobilize.”

“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, alright? Stop with all that. If you have a critique for the resistance—for our resistance—then you’d better have an established record of critique of our oppression. If you have no interest… If you have no interest in equal rights for black people, then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down.”

His speech was well received by many in the Black community, but it was also met with white backlash for its pro-Black messages. Here are some of those sentiments:






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