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Monday
Jul042016

ARTE: JESSE WILLIAMS

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

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 deescalate, disarm and not kill white 
people everyday. 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 anymore 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 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 
Darrien 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 sidenote: 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.

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