At the same time, all is not hopeless. Actor/activist Jesse Williams received a humanitarian award at the 2016 BET awards and the words of his acceptance speech filled many people with a desire to take back control of their lives from racist xenophobes. Six statements in his acceptance speech were particularly calls for people to take action now and work towards ending unfair treatment and racism against blacks in America. Check them out here:
A system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do.
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 and then go home to make a sandwich.
The burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander, that is not our job.
If you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, then you better have an established record of critique of our oppression.
If you have no interest in equal rights for black people then don’t make suggestions to those who do, sit down.
Just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.
If you would like to see his entire acceptance speech, click here to follow the link.
I have always believed that you must stand up and fight for your beliefs. A woman who stands for nothing, will fall for anything. This means that if equality and equity among all people is something you believe in, you must prove it by taking back control of what is right and wrong. You must stand up and say you will not support racism. You must stand up and say you will not support policies and procedures that deny equal opportunity and equity to all people. It is not easy to stand up and fight for what is right. It is not easy to stand against friends, neighbors and family members who believe that equality and equity should not be guaranteed to all citizens. But you must do it.
Today is the best day for taking back control from people who seek to divide and conquer those who fight for what is right. Today is the best day for taking back control from racists and xenophobes who want to oppress people simply because of their race. Racism is wrong, period. If you are a person who believes in doing the right thing then you must realize this is not a fight for everyone else. The fight against racism and xenophobia is everyone’s fight. It is your fight.
“A system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do.”
It has often been said that all that is necessary for evil to win is for good men to do nothing. This statement is as relevant today as it was when it was first uttered. There have been injustices committed in the world since the world began. The thing that has always stopped the injustice and made things right is that people stopped sitting back and letting the evil happen. Changes happened when people began taking back control and standing up for what was right. In the United States, if we stand up against people and systems who seek to divide us, keep us poor and destroy us, these people and systems will not prevail.
“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 and then go home to make a sandwich.”
When police do not value the lives of citizens, all citizens they hurt all of us. A nation is judged by how it treats the most vulnerable of its citizens. When children can be killed, manhandled, thrown to the grown, abused and even killed by the police who are supposed to protect and serve them, the system is broken and things need to be changed. Instead of looking for excuses and reasons why it is okay for police to kill our children, we must train our police to look for reasons and ways to keep our children alive.
“The burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander, that is not our job.”
People who are killed, abused and brutalized have a job. That job is to stay alive so they can live to fight another day. It is not their job to comfort and aid people watching them be abused and brutalized. If you are a bystander and see people of color being abused by police and others in power, you must do something. You cannot sit and wait for the brutalized to come comfort you and make you feel better about the brutalization. Instead of waiting for that to happen, step up and help.
“If you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, then you better have an established record of critique of our oppression.”
Often people watch those who fight against racism and complain about their protests. I have heard people complain that those who fight against racism are too loud, too violent, too pushy or too impatient. If you are a person who makes those complaints, ask yourself if you have been equally upset about racism and the brutalization of blacks in the United States. If you have not complained about racism, your complaints about those fighting against racism ring hollow, shallow and not worth listening to.
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