Jesse Williams on Ferguson: 'We Are Not Treated Like Human Beings'


Your Grey’s Anatomy boyfriend Jesse Williams added “hot political activist who chastises CNN while appearing on CNN” to his resume this weekend.

The actor has been breaking up TV marriages and wooing the ladies for quite sometime but he’s also been vocal about America’s racial disparities, and this time he tackled Ferguson and Mike Brown’s death.

While tensions rose in Ferguson, Missouri between police and protestors surrounding the fatal shooting of Brown, Williams really parsed the problem with CNN’s coverage of the civil disobedience and police brutality by looping a clip of a convenience store robbery that Ferguson police admitted had nothing to do with the death of the Missouri teen. Here are Williams’ gems:

“We also have to talk about the narrative and making sure that we’re starting at the beginning. You’ll find that the people doing the oppressing always want to start the narrative at a convenient part, or always want to start the story in the middle. This started with a kid getting shot and killed and left in the street for four hours. I’ve never seen a white body left in the street for four hours in the sweltering heat. The cop doesn’t call in the shooting, the body isn’t put in an ambulance, it’s shuttled away in some shady unmarked SUV.
There’s a lot of bizarre behavior going on and that is the story, that’s where we need journalism. That’s where we need that element of society to kick into gear and not just keep playing a loop of what the kid may have done in a convenience store. That’s unfortunate, if that happened, that’s going to be factored in, like it or not. But we need journalism to kick in and start telling the story from the beginning, this is about finding justice for a kid that was shot, an 18-year-old that was shot, period.
This idea that because he stole a handful of cheap cigars, what’s that $5? I’ve lived in white suburbs of this country for a long time, I know plenty of white kids who steal stuff from a convenience store. [There’s] this idea that every time a black person does something, they automatically become a thug worthy of death when we don’t own drug crimes. We’re not the only ones who sell and do drugs all the time. We’re not the only ones that steal and talk crazy to cops.
There’s a complete double standard and a complete different experience that a certain element of this country has the privilege of being treated like human beings, and the rest of us are not treated like human beings, period. That needs to be discussed, that’s the story. That’s what gets frustrating for people — because you don’t know five black folks, five black men in particular, that have not been harassed and felt threatened by police officers. You can’t throw a rock and find five of them. We’re not making this up.”

The actor’s comments came as Missouri Governor Jay Nixon decided to deploy the National Guard in the wee hours of Monday morning and President Obama cut his Martha’s Vineyard vacation short to deal with Iraq and Americans like Chris Hayes having guns shoved in their face by Missouri police.

Williams is indeed perfect. Someone should start that “I’m sorry I’m not Jesse Williams” campaign, stat.

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