In an appearance on CNN on Sunday, “Grey’s Anatomy” star Jesse Williams, 33, tackled the blatant racial bias in media character assassinations of slain Ferguson teen Michael Brown, who was unarmed when he was shot and killed August 9 by police officer Darren Wilson.
I think we have to talk about the narrative and make sure we’re starting at the beginning. You will find that people doing the oppressing often want to start the narrative at a convenient point,” Williams said. “This started with a kid getting shot and killed and left in the street for four hours. I’ve never seen a white body left in the heat for four hours in the sweltering heat.”
“I know plenty of white kids that steal stuff from convenience stores,” Williams continued in response to allegations that Brown stole cigars moments before his murder by law enforcement. “There is this idea that every time a black person does something they automatically become a thug worthy of their own death.”
“The rest of us are not treated like human beings. Period,” the actor said. “That needs to be discussed. That is the story.”
Williams is always found front and center in calls for social and racial justice, as evidenced by his consistent and fearless advocacy for of Black men.
“There’s a lot of young black men getting gunned down because people felt they were threatened,” said Williams about slain Florida Trayvon Martin. “Unarmed boys who were supposedly threats because being a black man in this country is sometimes an act of aggression in itself.”
When speaking out about the shooting death of Jordan Davis with HLN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell, Williams discussed the myth of the Black criminal:
“This is a tradition in this country, where people are able to go ahead and kill Black people because they’ve gotten sassed or inconvenienced. We’re victims of a fantasy. This fantasy of what the Black body does and can do has become more importantly than the reality and we pay for it with our lives,” Williams said. “Look at the amount of boys that are being shot because you feel scared. The idea of feeling threatened is not the same thing as being threatened. We pretend that it is, but it’s not. We have to keep fighting to be heard and to be treated like human beings.”
When Velez-Mitchell introduced William’s class privilege into the conversation, asking how he could still feel so “disenfranchised” with all of his success, he responded:
“I don’t think of just me, I think of a collective group of people. While privilege is very well, whether it’s a class issue that obviously exists–I’m glad you bring that up. This idea of having to explain why it’s racial, while we’re standing in our own blood is silly. It’s racial because it doesn’t happen to White people.”
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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