Jessie Williams asks “What about black pain is so fun to you?”
The exposure of killings of black people by law enforcement, or wanna be cops, has shown the world a very ugly side of the United States of America. It’s nothing new of course but with a camera in every pocket these incidences see the light of day more often now. Jessie Williams, most known for his role as Dr. Jackson Avery on Grey’s Anatomy, used his platform on Twitter to speak on these realities.
The questions he raises I’ve often asked myself, even more so lately. What is it about blackness that enrages whiteness? Certainly there are some long-standing emotional connections to generational learning and stereotyping. Even then, as Jessie Williams mentions, black people were never a threat to white people. Why is it when a black person is killed, there is a section of the population who go into a defensive white hooded mode. Why is it that a Darren Wilson defense fund raises six figures before he’s even charged with anything. Why was Trayvon Martin’s killer exalted and large amounts of funds raised on his behalf? Trayvon’s killer wasn’t even white, even though he appeared to be, but being that the victim was black that seemed to be enough. The celebrations aren’t done in the reverse. Why do some feel it’s ok to do so, to mock the victims as if they weren’t humans as well?
This is a problem. There is something about black skin that seems to trigger this type of unfeeling hate. Where does it come from? As I mentioned, I’ve asked myself these same questions many times. I even look to other cultures where the white skin is prized while the dark skin is shunned. You could almost pick any country and see the divide. India, Japan, Latin America all have varying shades of their population but white skin is more coveted. I was recently in the Philippines and it was no different, the faces on the advertisements were dominated by the lighter skin Filipinos. I know this is a bit of a digression but perhaps it’s all linked somewhere.
While previously discussing another topic with a friend in law enforcement he said “the
violent culture of black youth” in a statement. This incorrect belief in black youth being violent is part of the problem as well. This painting of an entire people with the same brush as a few allows people to feel this indifference when this atrocities happen. People feel automatically that the killing of a black person was justified because they are all thugs and violent. It is an obviously dangerous stereotype that is pervasive, cultivated, and encouraged.
One thing is for sure, this behavior and mentality doesn’t demonstrate a problem concocted by people of color but of those that hold that hate. This isn’t Jesse Williams first time speaking on such things. He was outspoken in interviews regarding the trial of Michael Dunn, the killer of 17-year-old Jordan Davis in September, 2012. In that interview he mentions the OJ case but we can go to the Rodney King case as well. There is a gut check that needs to be had.
Jessie Williams had this to say.