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Viola Davis: ‘Jim Crow Laws Were in Place…Because We Fell Asleep’

The Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis gives a very passionate and moving speech at the Women’s March in Los Angeles. In the video at the 3:04 mark she said, “And so that time needs to be helped, by every single moment, doing right. The reason why Jim Crow laws were in place, that stifled my rights and your rights, is because we fell asleep. We fall asleep when we’re moving ahead and we don’t look to the left and right and see we’re not including people in this move ahead. Because really, at the end of the day, we only move forward when it doesn’t cost us anything. But I’m here today saying that no one and nothing can be great unless it costs you something.”

During her speech, Viola also shared some very eye-opening statistics. Viola says “One out of every five women will be sexually assaulted or raped before she reaches the age of 18. Those women of color, if they’re raped or sexually assaulted before the age of 18, are 66-percent more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted again. Seventy percent of girls who are sexually trafficked are girls of color. They are coming out of the foster care system, they are coming out of poverty. It is a billion dollar industry. When they go into the sex trafficking business — and they call it a business, trust me — more than likely, they are gang raped.”

Viola continues on to say “I am speaking today, not just for the metoos, because I was a #metoo, but when I raise my hand, I am aware of all the women who are still in silence. The women who are faceless. The women who don’t have the money, and who don’t have the constitution, and who don’t have the confidence, and who don’t have the images in our media that gives them a sense of self-worth enough to break their silence that’s rooted in the shame of assault. That’s rooted in the stigma of assault.”

Viola closes out her empowering speech by saying that her hope for the future is that we never “go back”.

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