Independence Day

Today is the great day known as Independence Day. Many are celebrating with their family and friends. They may be having a cookout in their backyard, enjoying a local parade, going to the shore, or enjoying a local concert. This great day of celebrating will end with a grandiose display of fireworks set to a mix of contemporary music and patriotic tunes that make us proud to be an American. We sit back, smile, and reflect. Wow…it’s so great that we are independent and free. Whoa hold up…

I’m not sure about you, but I don’t think that all of us are so independent and free. Many people are still fighting for equality. We are still fighting to live in a nation where privilege is not limited to only white, cis men. We are fighting for equal sentencing where someone’s daddy is not worried that he won’t have steak for six months. We are fighting to have less regulation over women. Why do guns get a better deal than my body? We are fighting against police brutality—Michael Brown, Rekia Boyd, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Tanisha Anderson, Freddie Gray, Mya Hall, Jonathan Sanders, and Sandra Bland should never be forgotten. We are fighting to keep families together instead of building walls and deporting anyone with melanin. How do you plan to make America great again? Do you plan on pushing everyone out based on the one drop rule?

As we continue in this year, let’s continue our fight for equality for all. Fight hate and discrimination with your words and actions. And as always…march to the beat of your drum. 

Jesse Williams: 2016 BET Humanitarian Award Speech

“Peace peace. Thank you, Debra. Thank you, BET. Thank you Nate Parker, Harry and Debbie Allen for participating in that (video).

Before we get into it, I just want to say I brought my parents out tonight. I just want to thank them for being here, for teaching me to focus on comprehension over career, and that they make sure I learn what the schools were afraid to teach us. And also thank my amazing wife for changing my life.

Now, this award—this is not for me. This is for the real organizers all over the country—the activists, the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents, the families, the teachers, the students that are realizing that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do.

It’s kind of basic mathematics—the more we learn about who we are and how we got here, the more we will mobilize.

Now, this is also in particular for the black women in particular who have spent their lifetimes dedicated to nurturing everyone before themselves. We can and will do better for you.

Now, what we’ve been doing is looking at the data and we know that police somehow manage to de-escalate, disarm and not kill white people every day. So what’s going to happen is we are going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function and ours.

Now…I got more y’all—yesterday would have been young Tamir Rice’s 14th birthday 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 12-year-old playing alone in the park in broad daylight, killing him on television and then going home to make a sandwich. Tell Rekia Boyd how it’s so much better than it is to live in 2012 than it is to live in 1612 or 1712. Tell that to Eric Garner. Tell that to Sandra Bland. Tell that to Dorian Hunt.

Now the thing is, though, all of us in here getting money—that alone isn’t gonna stop this. Alright, now dedicating our lives, dedicating our lives to getting money just to give it right back for someone’s brand on our body when we spent centuries praying with brands on our bodies, and now we pray to get paid for brands on our bodies.

There has been no war that we have not fought and died on the front lines of. There has been no job we haven’t done. There is no tax they haven’t levied against us—and we’ve paid all of them. But freedom is somehow always conditional here. “You’re free,” they keep telling us. But she would have been alive if she hadn’t acted so…free.

Now, freedom is always coming in the hereafter, but you know what, though, the hereafter is a hustle. We want it now.

And let’s get a couple 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 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.

We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries, yo, and we’re done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil—black gold, ghettoizing and demeaning our creations then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. The thing is though…the thing is that just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.

Thank you.”

Jesse Williams, 2016 BET Humanitarian Award Speech

Jesse Williams Dropping Serious Knowledge #BETAwards

“Freedom is always coming in the hereafter. But the hereafter is the hustle. We want it now.” –Jesse Williams

Jesse Williams spoke the truth at the 2016 BET Awards. I hope people weren’t just emotional for the moment. Rather, let’s continue to take action.

The Thugs of North Beach Avenue #ChangeTheNarrative

“The truth can never be known. It can only be told in a story.”—Alex Haley, Roots

Earlier today, I saw this video of the beach brawl that occurred at North Avenue Beach in Chicago during Memorial Weekend. For the first time in media reporting, I was not surprised by what I saw. There was no mention of these hoodlums being called thugs. That’s what they are. The police did not arrest any of these gangbangers for this uprising. That’s what it was. These delinquents left the place a mess with trash littered all over the place like it was a riot. Yet, the media just said that these lovely ‘beachgoers” were only involved in a brawl or melee.

It’s time to change the narrative. If we are supposed to be all-inclusive and say that #AllLivesMatter, then we need to be all-inclusive in our offensive reporting. Let’s discuss how these thugs had a terroristic uprising. Isn’t that what you said my people did in Ferguson and Baltimore? We were protesting the unlawful death of two young Black men. What were these thugs protesting at North Avenue Beach? Too much sunshine…not enough beer? Talk about privilege.

Why aren’t we talking about their families? It’s obvious that roughnecks like the people in this video must come from broken homes. I know that people from good homes just don’t act like this. Their mothers must be drunks, hos, and prostitutes. They have to have at least five or six kids. Let’s not even start on their fathers. You know their fathers were in and out of their lives, and they were either in jail or slinging drugs on the corner. You know how those white men are (wink wink). They are all the same. Convicts and brutes. I can’t wait to hear about their criminal records. Only people from broken homes act like this.

I am no longer waiting on mainstream media to change the narrative. Our truth will only be known when we tell our own stories. Let’s continue to tell our truth, our way, without the offensive descriptions. In the meantime, let’s rewrite their stories by using the offensive language that they naturally use on us. So the next time they decide to burn a city during a pumpkin smashing or flip cars after a football game, repost the uprising with your narrative. #ChangeTheNarrative

Police Brutality of Tacoma Teen

Can somebody please explain to me why this girl was tasered and beaten? I don’t see where it escalated to that point, and he could have taken her down without incident. This is beyond ridiculous! The police officer should be suspended immediately and fired after a quick investigation. ‪#‎SayHerName ‬‪#‎SaveOurGirls‬ ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬