The speech was poetic and all, and I imagine Mr. Williams meant well, so this is not a critique of him but a comment on black "Hollywood." (And by 'Hollywood,' I mean less a geographic place, and more the entertainment business.)
Let's be honest: black people will be freer when they stop bitching about the white man.
First things first. While Jesse Williams seems like an upstanding guy by all accounts, I think it's pretty safe to say that Williams is a kind of anomaly, perhaps that's why his version of "truth-telling" made an impact in the news cycle.
Or did it? I mean, was he playing another kind of predictable role-?
Version one has the more common one: the black celebrity fraud of the highest, or shall I say lowest degree. Do you want me to name names, or shall I run down the easy-to-find list of booty-shakin'-I-got-this-life-mastered-and-I'm-a-totally-awesome-whore! tattooed on my vulva? Or, I-made-my-name (actually, or) pretending-to-kill-kids-with-drugs-and-guns! of these ex-con/thug-life hyping men? (mind you, I'm not saying white celebrities and the general celebrity lot are much better, but the costs for the black community are greater because we are a population in distress, from health issues, to poverty, to incarceration.)
Version two, is what Williams played.
The Return of Caliban.
Caliban was of course an antagonist from William Shakespeare's play, The Tempest. This work always unsettled me in part because of the wild and weird imagining of Caliban -- as a kind of savage negro man-beast. Here's one academic's analysis; I throw up just a little every time I read this type of crap. But it's good to know, nonetheless. Caliban is, in one sense, an archetype of white and black feeding and rebounding off one other. Caliban references to the white; the white references to Caliban. But neither perception is true.
I mention Caliban in this case because Williams (while handsome and eminently refined) is still playing the role, he's playing the resentful black man. Liberals love this shit. But you know what-? It's not the truth.
Ask yourself - who benefits from fomenting racial tensions? Who gains by blacks continuing to see themselves as victims? Who loses when blacks get their act together-?
"Cultural appropriation," "police violence," "racial inequality," the darling memes of the political left - are these really the problems facing black America?
Society copes with a 'mysteriously' lesser functioning black population. And who's fault is that, celebrities-? The culture you glorify, or the people stupid enough to believe in you?
And it's more than "branding," which Williams is astute enough to acknowledge. Black people are too comfortable commodifying themselves, an understandable post-slavery mindset meshed with the idiocy of unfettered materialism.
We need to move beyond that now.
What is endemic to blacks is actually what's facing all of America's poor and lower-middle class - food and shelter insecurity and a sense of wellbeing. You think you're going to find that from a BET Award ceremony? From browbeating every crooked cop?
America's intellectual elite, whether they be white, black or something in between, long ago left the realm of reality.
These entertainment people are fighting imaginary battles. I mean, they are real to them, but not necessarily relevant to regular folks. I do think the industry uses and abuses people, and steals what's good from (black) culture for its own twisted uses, but that's the specific problem of entertainers and not the actual issue facing the average person.
I drove across the country recently and people were eating at McDonald's like it was normal food. No organic veggies, not in the small town in South Carolina where I was, nor at the spot I stopped at in Oklahoma, or Phoenix, or outside Little Rock. First world problems that belie deeper trends.
Walmart - for everything. Not heating home because gas was too expensive.
Real America lives on another plane, the grooves of which are too numerous and complex to water down to "cops" or "gentrification," or whatever other notion is being pumped into the mainstream.
Read the rest of the story here.