Jesse Williams And His Privilege

When will we put aside the limits European standards have drawn between us and support each other, rather than put each other down?

Jesse Williams, an actor and activist used his spotlight at the BET award to discuss racial and sexist issues avoided by society on a general and daily basis. Every sane person who listened to his words was either awakened or more informed about the truth of the oppressions black people face today. Jesse Williams got an award for his efforts, only to raise it and say, “This is for the black woman.” He addressed racism, white supremacy, the oppression of black women and police brutality in front of a room filled with black people and called them out on their lack of action. I was pleased with his speech. The outstanding round of applause that followed his speech showed a lot of people were pleased with his speech too. What I did not expect though was for him to be dissed.

After a while, showers of praises for Jesse Williams’ speech filled the internet and then ended soon. Memes, posts, articles dissing his speech soon surfaced, claiming that Williams was not the first to express those opinions, that he alone was heard because of his light-skinned privilege, because he is half white, because he has pretty eyes...

It’s no news that the European standards still embedded in our society today hold people with lighter skin to better and higher standards. It has been like that since the early years. Skin was used to measure beauty, worth, wealth, literacy... Many are well aware of their skin privileges, but very few use it the way Jesse Williams did; very few use their privilege to talk about the oppressions black people endure during one of the biggest yearly events. And for that reason Jesse Williams has earned respect.

If we want the oppression to stop, if we want Malcolm X's quote that, “The most neglected person in America is the black woman,” to be untrue; if we want the world to be aware that black people are not liberated; if we want the world to be awakened to the reality of black people...we need all the voices we can get.

Therefore, regardless of your race, sex, nationality and eye color, spread the truth! It is all in the Voice.


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