Jesse Williams is on his way to becoming one of the loudest voices against social injustice. He is being described as this generation’s Harry Belafonte, and in a new interview, the Grey’s Anatomy actor spouts his outspoken brilliance on everything from media-driven racism to what in means to be Black in Hollywood to the double standards that exist between Black and Whites.
“If you don’t live around Black folks and you just watch TV, you’re going to be racist,” Williams said in what looks to be a spontaneous street interview. “You and the media and a fake a– history system that makes you believe that White people created any of this makes you think that Black people ain’t worth a damn.”
The biracial actor compared the burgeoning civil rights movement to the gay rights movements from the 80s and 90s. He said that it wasn’t until people were exposed to gay men and women that they took a step back and realized that their comments, views, and perspectives were inappropriate.
He goes on to speak on Black actors and actresses in Hollywood. He said that he’s “as White as you can get being a Black person,” but he still struggles. When it comes to Hollywood, Black people have a choice.
“You got to decide whether to wear a du-rag and rob some White person on a TV show,” he said. “Five of my closest friends have to decide every three days whether they want to chip away at their own soul and chip away a piece of themselves to dance and shuck and jive for White America.”
It’s White America, he said, that is complicating what can be considered as violence. He said that financiers are ruining people’s economic lives, but they are far removed from the criticism that Black Americans must face every day.
“Is stealing ok or not?” he asked. “It’s a schizophrenic society where we’re told violence is not OK, and Michael Brown is a thug because he muscled some dude in the store. You just blew his f—ing head off, so is violence OK or not? It’s a very fair question to ask.”
Check out the interview in full above and tell us what you think.
*NSFW due to strong language.*