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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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What people are saying

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

  1. Darque Black says:

    This is hilarious to me. Whites are the first to say dont blame us for the past we arent one collective. Then this guy specifically calls out the people who are doing dirt and collectively they seem to respond. If standing up for yourself is now considered "hate speech" then sign me up. The idiots have gone full retard and should be ignored accordingly.

  2. Tommy Deas says:

    Who cares what the neanderthal race thinks, stop with your evil ways and we might give a Adam about your unworthy concerns!

  3. How The Fuck You Gone Get Mad At The Truth?
    Hurt Don't It?

  4. wish i could respond to these guys, to get them to understand that, MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo, BET, CENTRIC, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., TeenNick, Nicktoons, Nick at Nite, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV Land, SPIKE, Tr3s, Paramount Channel and VIVA are alll under Viacom and all are owned by the Same C.E.O…. so its the networks choice to air a BET awards on its other network stations.

  5. White tears are great at breakfast time

  6. Ask yourself how bad is the racial climate in this nation that people of mixed race are forced to identify as black? As Jessie said he has seen both sides being of mixed background and which one do you think has angered him. Give you one guess!

  7. Calling Jesse Williams a "racist" for his speech is so ass-backwards. The backlash response of white people as a whole to the empowerment of black people is ridiculously ignorant & infuriating. But it's good that the Black Lives Matter movement is bringing out the depths of this country's institutional racisim and deep-set psychological white supremecy in the full light. We are a country built on slavery and the systematic oppression of people of color. That's not just a distant memory of the past, that is still our present.

  8. I like that Laura Charles. I was reading their whinny little comments and I was almost on the floor laughing. Did they not hear him say, "Sit down."? I'm getting my black beret back out.

  9. Last time I checked, white folks still use black inventions (rock and roll, anyone?) while being ignorant. Why don't you focus your concern for racism on the people who are actually being racist.

  10. Whiteness is so fragile. It's disturbing that in our fight for equality we have to mind our words as to ensure your egos are not bruised.
    Please take your asses to the corner and be seated.

  11. Calla Hope says:

    There very likely is no god or supernatural anything. We are our horror and our hope.

  12. but i have a black friend…

  13. Erica Jean says:

    And what else is new…

  14. so the purpose of this "news" was…..? what? bc people are angry or upset? nothing he said was racist. he simply stated facts as well as his opinion. Stop the hatred it's getting old. people are still racist for what reasons? I love all people except racist if u don't like me bc of the color of my skin so be it that's your decision but once you decide take action proving your hatred then it becomes our problem. I still pray for you anyway.

  15. Bryant King says:

    White tears, get your white tears right over here! Extra salty!!!!!

  16. Lmaooooo pale people are hurt! Guilt & denial will kill these devils. We had to deal with the Oscars, Tonys, Emmys, Grammys, MTV music awards, Golden Globes, AMA's…and the list goes on but BET which is owned by Jews are now somehow a threat to these mentally fragile pale people is pathetic…sick & pathetic. #letthemeatcake! Lmaoooo

  17. Chris Marino says:

    Geraldine Patricia Chambers haha class act if you know your problems why are they never brought up in a public forum like his speech now? But again where we're jesse Jackson and al Sharpton when the 9 year old was executed? Where was #blacklivesmatter then no where to be found

  18. I am offended, and I am standing and clapping!!!! I am sharing this with my white friends and also suggesting that we talk about this in our monthly Race Relay dialogues here in the LA area. As a former high school teacher, I tended to favor black and brown students over white. I stood up for them and flooded classroom walls and boards with quotes about justice from the likes of MLK & Cesar Chavez. These students knew I loved them, and they loved me back– even created a megaphone while creeping along the freeway in rushhour traffic and yelled, "We love you, Mrs. Brown!

  19. well charma is always a bad position to be in considering ALL that he spoke apon is TRUE. Look you people has had your turn to tortue, profit and destroy the world. Stop bitching about the truth and do something to redeem your souls.
    Hell is waiting for this group of dwellers whos done the exact opposite of God's teachings.

  20. Nick Felix says:

    I guess now's not the time to tell folks I was born and raised in the ghetto and lived 5 minutes away from the worst project in nlr? Ohhh nooo!!

  21. Calla Hope says:

    " The burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander. " Jesse Williams

  22. Zahir Wajid says:

    European language misunderstood by non other than Europeans.Look up the word racist. On a more serious note, last night was EPIC

  23. Nick Felix says:

    Dude do not say all white people because I'm gonna assume your talking about me. I'm white and non racist. But don't say black folks were the only oppressed race. Read about Irish oppression. Read about Irish enslavement.

  24. Andrey Lang says:

    Carlene Brown keep doing what you are doing. I salute you.

  25. Nick Felix says:

    Why people keep forgetting that the most hated groups in America in the 1800s were blacks, Irish and natives?

  26. We need to stand up and claim our blackness! That our true weapon against the Pinkies!

  27. White people if you think that was a "racist speech" or that Jesse Williams is a bigot
    congratulations you're the reason the speech was so impactful.
    The fact that you are comfortable that innocent people (kids) are being slain in a country that prides itself on freedom shows your low regard for firstly, human life in general and secondly, black life in particular which again proves his point. Your precious Nickelodeon was not taken it was a power play. White kids love black culture so why not air the BET awards on there except this time you got what you needed. This world would be better if you WERE FORCED TO DEAL WITH OTHER PEOPLE's REALITIES. But see you don't have to so therefore you never get it. You think that when people of color talk about their experience they're racist that alone again is he reason for his speech. We are responding to the racism we deal with and how people turn a blind eye. It's sickening. White supremacy has bred a generation of apathetic sadist and every time you open your mouth this speech become more and more relevant.

    See how the jokes in on you in so many different ways.

  28. Doris Brooks says:

    Awww, did their widdle feelings get hurt? Good! Jesse Williams spoke the truth. What did he say that was not true? Nothing. So yes, all you who are complaining, take a seat.

  29. You guys love perpetuating racism while using white inventions (the internet and computer/smartphone) to make those ignorant rants.

  30. I absalutely loved that speech.Well done to you Jesse Williams. You are my inspiration. Standing up for our rights as blacks who don't have a voice. Xx

  31. You must be sleeping in a cave if you think white invented the Internet and smartphone .. Do you true research , ignorant FOOL!

  32. The pathology is behond ma believe… Yall need help seriously

  33. So are yall big mad ,huh?

  34. This is exactully what Jesse is talking about "White Supremacy" and the question of the day: How can a so called "Black Racist" be effective to White people, what's the stuggle or set back on them? What's the advancement for a Black person to be racist in a European society?

  35. this only happens when the "light" shines on a dark subject, shame on these cyber bullies that hide behind a keyboard with hate in their hearts

  36. Jae Carter says:

    You really believe those are white inventions… lol.. research it I dare you lmfao

  37. Kent Miles says:

    so looking at all the crazy responses about the awards being on Nickelodeon, u cant tell me that 50 million white folk tuned in at the same time during that speech it was all good until some toes where stepped on,

  38. Why even give this Johnny idiot the time of day!? Dudes like this are afraid that we continue to take everything away from then and will continue to do it. 🙂

  39. Bi-racial or multi-racial instead of mulatto please. That was slave term.

  40. Ron Davis says:

    You could only be hurt by what he said if it applies to you. You can't be that stupid so stop pretending you don't see what's happening to American citizens in This country. But some of you never worry about what happens to others until it happens to your family members.

  41. you need to do research OTHER then the history books given to you in the European school you attended…white people did NOT invent the cell phone… or the internet!! SMHHH get informed or just SHUT UP!

  42. Dottie Hill says:

    You are right. Include property stealing and contiuning steal of property with broken treaties along with mass genocide, and you have America.

  43. Tomara Wales says:

    MUCH RESPECT!! This brought tears to my eyes. So graciously said. So empowering. Those that are upset and consider his words racist, are obviously living in a box…a bubble…and definitely not delving into reality. He didn't yell, disrespect anyone, or curse. HE'S ENCOURAGING A MOVEMENT. And THAT'S why you're scared.

  44. Its amazing how Trump can spill out hate and he is a hero to them, but when ever black people speak the truth or shall I say wake up then we are the racist. If you smacked these people with the truth they would still call it a lie. These people are scared, scared that they no longer can trick us to hate us. People please stay awake. If you are white and are not racist you would have not gotten offended you would have been standing and clapping yourself.

  45. Lmao, They're so dumb and clueless …

  46. we discovered america…

  47. I am incredibly amazed at how quickly certain people can shout out racism against what this man spoke, it was truth and when you TRULY see racism keep completely quiet.

  48. C Willie Winslow II leave little johnny alone, let him play with that paper bag that he can't get out of.

  49. It's too bad that there are some white people who had a problem with what Jesse Williams had to say last night, because he bascially expressed what Black people by and large have been saying for decades. It was something that needed to be aired and what white people have needed to hear. The complaints about the BET Awards being aired on multiple channels is unfortunate because it's obviously being forgotten that black people subscribe to those channels as well, and those channels recognized the value of simulcasting programs of interest to the black community as well as everybody else. White people would do well to consider that just because their "black friends" don't express what Jesse Williams did last night, doesn't necessarily mean that what he said isn't what they have been thinking. We are not required to tell white people everything we're thinking and we certainly don't need anyone else's approval to express same.

  50. Why are folks complaining about the BET Awards being shown on what they feel is a white station (Nickelodeon) – that is 1 of the problems there, R&B and Hip Hop is listened to by all cultures, from Beyoncé to Lil Wayne, not just African Americans (hince J.Williams speech)

    Saying that a show that prodominitely shows African American culture (and pride) should only be on BET but then having an issue when African Americans discuss how the Acedmy Awards and other shows dont depict US in a positive light is hypocrisy –

    And just bc a man (not a black man, not a white man), but a MAN calls for equality, doesn't make him a racist and it also doesn't mean he is saying all WHITE people are bad, he is just calling for JUSTICE and EQUALITY for all men/women – showing Black Pride doesn't make u prejudice, everyone wants what's right for their people but when things are obviously unfair, people take notice

  51. White on white crimes exist. So tired of hearing this black on black crime. This is about geography. ….if you live in area that is majority black…obviously that is where crime would take place. A person is not going to travel across the city to white neighbourhood to commit a crime and vice versa. Your comment makes no sense

  52. The ones calling Jesse Williams a racist are the true racist themselves. They really didnt hear anything but black and white

  53. There's a very simple reason why it wasn't mentioned. When a black person kills a black person that person is arrested, prosecuted and sentenced. When a cop kills an unarmed civilian guilty or not 98% there are no ramifications beyond that person possibly losing their job. Not only that black on black crime is a social construct used to demonize the black community. If you take time to look at a report the FBI puts out on crime breakdown by race. Generally all crime happens intraracially because most neighborhoods are segrated. More than 80% of white people are killed by other white people you never hear the term white on white crime.

  54. Chris Marino says:

    Suzette Miller my comment makes perfect sense please explain how it doesnt. 9f course there is white on white crime . White people do some of the most heinous shit to people it's not even right. Most of the pedophiles in the world are white people and that's fact don't sit here with a blind eye and say it's fucked up for a white police officer to shoot a black 13 year old but when a black 9 year old gets executed by 2 black guys oh not sure it's a geographic thing because it's a predominately black area that's just an excuse to make your statement relevant. Again I agree with what he said I just think he should of said more. And to your comment about a person not traveling across a city to a white neighborhood and vice versa obviously you never lived in a big city because that shit happens all the time

  55. Right on point, Barry! I am proud to be your friend!

  56. Chris Marino says:

    Larry Williams I could find you about 10 cases in the past month where there was a black man who killed another and is still at large and that just in chicago. Like I said I'm not saying police officers aren't crooked or dirty shit I can't even tell you how many times I've been pulled over cause I had 2 or 3 black friends in the car with me asked if I smoked crack or where the drugs at by the officer but this shit is happening on both sides and is only being brought up on one side

  57. The TOPIC for the moment is racism, white supremacy. He dealt with the topic, so should you. We know our problems very well, we live them and we're reminded often. Stick to the topic stupid.

  58. The backlash is soo funny

  59. The brilliant and beautifully black Dr. Cornel West spoke about this oppression to the Democratic Party Platform Committee. The majority of the committee treated him with absolute disdain!

  60. But but Trump just speaking the TRUTH

  61. They may have not been responsible for the past, but many subscribe and continue to support the system that their racist ancestors built.

  62. Omar Howard says:

    Regina Ellis Livingston in no other place in the world does a group of people allow 'the one drop rule' exist et alone cause these blurred lines of obvious confusing

  63. Racism have made a lot of whites extremely dunce as we Jamaicans would say. A bunch of dunce bats. smh.

  64. Its funny how whites saying that Bet promotes racism but y'all the one started. its all good for yall to agree with Trump racist ass…Have a seat

  65. And will fight you to the death if you try taking it away too!

  66. Chris Marino well, we almost didn't here about the rapist, that the police department, parents and others tried to cover up. If the thousands of cases were not covered up over the years, maybe the black on black crime would pale in comparison to the actual numbers.

  67. Bryant King says:

    How much glue did you sniff before posting that?

  68. They need to save those tears to water their lawns!

  69. guess Carmine Sabia didn't watch this year's Oscars

  70. Lawanda Xi says:

    I guess they missed the part when he showed his parents and his mother is white, but she wasn't upset or calling Jessie a racist

  71. Absolutely right on point! The white people who participate in our monthly Race Relay dialogues here in the LA area cannot emerge from the experience "deaf and dumb" any longer. We are always presented with some video clips to respond to. Hope this one will be featured at our next dialogue. I have noticed that some choose to not return. The reality is just too much for some of them to handle. Very sad. On the other hand, I am greatly encouraged that our dialogue circle is growing with participation from all colors! We have to keep confronting America with the truth!

  72. James Owens says:

    Black people, are not allowed to stand up, and speak, or call out the system for its oppressive state. These people are so ignorant, their not even worth the energy it takes to respond.

  73. Nick Felix says:

    Without them four groups*

  74. Nick Felix says:

    Tomara Wales your gorgeous!

  75. Look at how they do President Obama!!!

  76. Nick Felix says:

    King Sima Yi Mack uhm. White people did invent the internet.

  77. White folks need to stop being mad at what they created! Guess what it's only the beginning!!!

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