Jesse Williams’ BET Awards Speech Is Further Proof He’s Woke Bae

Photo: Kevin Winter/BET/Getty Images.
We've already made the argument that Jesse Williams is a woke bae, but just in case you had any doubts, I promise you his speech while accepting the Humanitarian Award at the BET Awards tonight is all the convincing you need. While looking deep into our souls with those piercing blue eyes, the Grey's Anatomy star delivered something that was less of a speech and more pure, beautiful poetry. He began by thanking the civil rights activists around the country that are "realizing that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do." He then dedicated his award: "Now this is...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." Swoon. After the crowd gave him a standing ovation, he gently said, "I got more y'all." Be still, my beating heart. "Yesterday would've been young Tamir Rice's 14th birthday," Williams said. "So, I don't want to hear anymore about how far we've come when paid public servants can pull a drive-by on a 12-year-old playing alone in a park in broad daylight, killing him on television, and then going home to make a sandwich." Whoa. And then came the lines that really, truly got me: "The burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander. That's not our job, alright? Stop with all that...If you have no have interest in equal rights for Black people, then do not make suggestions to people who do." I KNOW, RIGHT?! RIGHT?! I had to take a minute and sit with that, too. And then — and then — Williams closed with: "Just because we're magic doesn't mean we're not real." I'd like to nominate this as the most epic mic drop of all time. Watch Williams' full speech, here.

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