Blacktivist & Wacktivist
Let me just start by saying the Black Pride was definitely there at the BET Awards '16.
Everyone is still talking about the BET Award that aired this past Sunday June 26th. They're not talking about any performances though, everyone is stuck on the acceptance speech of Jesse Williams.
Jesse Williams received the Humanitarian award and his speech ruffled a lot of feathers.
Jesse Williams is an actor and activist who is half white
It's funny how a lot of black men are getting upset that Jesse Williams is receiving so much praise from black women, they think the praise is simply because he is a handsome man.
Quite the contrary, Jesse Williams is doing what a lot of black men haven't been doing for a while now, and that is acknowledging black women and verbalizing his appreciation for black women.
"This is in particular for the black women who have spent their live times dedicated to nurturing everyone before themselves.We can and will do better for you."
Jesse Williams also speaks on a lot of the issues that plague the African American community including racism, cultural appropriation, exploitation and institutionalized violence.
Background: Jesse Williams' mother is Swedish and his father is African American and his wife is African American.
So why are people upset ? Williams was eloquent and delivered his message with such a poetic flow that audience and millions of viewers everywhere rose to their feet to applaud.
The very issue that Williams discussed is the very issue that is causing people to ask "Does he have a right to say these things ?," and question what is it that HE knows about OUR struggle. Again with the division. Being black is an experience that is different for everyone.
Jesse Williams gave his speech as a being a part of the black population, which he is but instead of standing with him, we are crucifying him and his attempts because of how he looks, when the black men of darker complexions do not seem to be as vocal or advocate as much as Williams has. Additionally it's mind-blowing for black men to get UPSET that Jesse Williams is making factual statements because had a black man done so, he would've probably received just as much praise because black men forget that despite the treatment, us black women love them. Unconditionally.
David Banner preaches and we love David Banner.
Blacks Will Move Forward When Our Men Repair Relationships W| Black Women
On the State of Black America
Thing is a lot of black men do not speak up or they speak up when they want to on what they want, when it's convenient.
And then you have the white men who want to be black and be a part of the culture for viewings, fashion and ratings but when it comes to standing for a cause they want out or they offer a generalized, generic statement of sympathy in our time of tragedy or struggle. Jesse Williams gets respect because he can actually be seen taking risks for the cause and putting in work because he is dedicated and not for recognition.
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."
The thing about Jesse Williams' speech is he's also addressing our wrongs in our community and we do not want to take responsibility for our wrongs especially when we are being told by someone who doesn't look like us, like who are you and what do you know about our struggle ?
We accept people who aren't actually with us and give them a pass or black card but want to revoke the card of those who actually belong because they have an unpopular black opinion. Or "half-black opinion" in Williams' case.
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
So how and why were quick we were to revoke Justin Timberlake's "Black Pass/Black Card" after the backlash ?:
Justin Timberlake tweeted about being inspired by Jesse Williams and his tweet was met with a response about him appropriating black culture:
So does this mean you're going to stop appropriating our music and culture? And apologize to Janet too.
Another tweeter said;
"Go ahead be inspired, but you have a platform to speak up on issues that affect the cultures you're appropriating,"
Which is where he and others like Justin Bieber fall short.
Timberlake tweeted at the wrong time. All of the black people on Twitter were feeling prideful and then to see Justin Timberlake tweet that he was "inspired" was like blood in the water for sharks because Justin Timberlake in some aspects is blameworthy of the cultural appropriation and exploitation that Williams talked about in his speech.
I think that the backlash toward him was a bit much, he was justin time to get the wrath of the prideful black people. He posted the wrong tweet at the wrong time.
He's not the one we should be worried about. You have the Eminems, Iggys and Post Malone's to worry about, and the Biebers.
They make it look cool to be black to unenlightened white people and they do a terrible job of trying to duplicate our style and features.
Justin Bieber decided he wanted dreads because he thought they were "cool" but when Zendaya had dreads Giuliana Rancic had a snarky comment about how they might smell, but they raved about Bieber's "dreads."
Everyone loves our culture but not us.
In an interview in October of last year with "The Root" Williams addresses the privileges of being biracial and how he uses it in his activism.
The problem that a lot of black people have with white people "appreciating" our cultural is that is seems like they believe that if they "embrace" it hard enough we'll forget that they are white. They have a couple of black friends or have a couple of collaborations with black artists and suddenly they "understand" what it is to be black. They try on cultures and toss them when they're done because they can.
Timberlake's tweet about all being one race is a reminder to some black people of the "Black Lives and All Lives Matter" debate. Yes we understand Timberlake probably meant no harm in being inspired by Jesse Williams but his response is what messed him up. You cannot categorize all if we're not all being treated them same.
It's like they're trying to identify as something they are not. Similar to some biracial people who try to identify with only their white side, or only their black side. There is a double standard that makes it acceptable for them to dismiss their white side in efforts to be down but if they were ever to dismiss their black side in efforts to be down with the whites it'd be an uproar. Jesse Williams seems to have found a balance where he understands his whiteness and blackness how one effects the other in this society and he works to fight the injustices while being true to himself.