Jesse Williams stole all our hearts with his smile and beautiful eyes as Dr. Jackson Avery on Grey’s Anatomy, but Williams is not only an excellent (fake) surgeon, he’s also an amazing and inspiring (real-life) activist. His speeches and tweets about race and politics have garnered a lot of attention (and criticism) over the years, and we could all learn a little something from him.
Here are 5 of Jesse Williams’ most inspiring quotes that everyone needs to hear:
“The existence of your neighbor’s pain is not dependent upon your belief in it. And we cannot improve a situation that we don’t acknowledge. Learning from patters is both basic and critical to the progress of human ‘civilization.’”
“The burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander. That’s not our job. Stop with all that. If you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, then you better have an already established record of critique of our oppression. If you have no interest in equal rights for black people, then do not make suggestion for those who do. Sit down.”
“Now, what we’ve been doing is looking at the data and we know that police somehow manage to deescalate, disarm and not kill white people every day. So what’s going to happen is we are going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function and ours.”
“Yesterday would have been young Tamir Rice’s 14th birthday so I don’t want to hear anymore about how far we’ve come when paid public servants can pull a drive-by on 12-year-old playing alone in the park in broad daylight, killing him on television and then going home to make a sandwich. Tell Rekia Boyd how it’s so much better than it is to live in 2012 than it is to live in 1612 or 1712. Tell that to Eric Garner. Tell that to Sandra Bland. Tell that to Dorian Hunt.”
“There has been no war that we have not fought and died on the front lines of. There has been no job we haven’t done. There is no tax they haven’t leveed against us – and we’ve paid all of them. But freedom is somehow always conditional here. “You’re free,” they keep telling us. But she would have been alive if she hadn’t acted so…free.”