Sonnie Johnson: Are You Ready to Talk About Real Freedom Now, Jesse Williams?

Matt Sayles/Associated Press

[Warning: Strong language]

So, Jesse Williams was all the talk at the BET Awards Sunday night. Three things before we delve into his speech:

1. Let me be sexist (because yes, women can objectify men too) and racist because is it just me: Are the light-skinned brothers coming back into style? Because that is a fine motherfucker… I re-watched the speech with the sound off and I was imagining Jesse running down his list of Saturday chores before promising to throw me against the wall and…let’s just say, some men are better seen than heard.

a. That’s not the case with Jesse Williams… but I know the SJWs are aching to get their panties in a bunch. Not yet. Don’t worry, your outrage will come.

2. Republicans/Conservatives: the BET Awards were broadcast over six different networks simultaneously. The most mentioned topics were Prince, the election and gun control. I don’t know how many times I have to say it: Mix culture with intellect to get desired results. The Left understands this and it’s what helps them keep their power. When will you wake up? I mean seriously, was Trump not enough? If you cede the ground, you can’t fight for it.

a.And if you are going to cede the ground, don’t complain about what happens on the other side of the fence. You sound bitter, not righteous.

3. Black Republicans, especially you Never Trumpers: here’s why you disgust me. You, above all else, know this has nothing to do with Trump. If Ben Carson was the presumptive nominee it would be coon-ism, not racism. But that’s not what kills me. You would rather criticize the black people speaking, the culture they embrace, their language and style… instead of addressing and countering their concerns.

a. It goes back to this notion of the right kind of black, which leads me to the my next logical question: why do you continue to pretend you actually WANT black people in your party? And this is a serious question to black Republicans. The people in that room were black… 85 to 90% of the people that watched the show were black. If you have nothing but criticism for them, let me give you some advice: be a black Republican. Just stop pretending that that automatically means you actually give a damn enough to humble yourself and become a black Republican/Conservative activist. You are for the RNC, not black people. I see the difference clearly, and by your ineffectiveness, I’m sure black people see it too.

Now that I’ve addressed my army — let’s get back to the sexiness that is Jesse Williams. He’s an actor, a model and an activist (notice: two hustles — and I’m sure other streams of revenue) to one cause. I call that a good ratio. He’s most famous for his acting in Grey’s Anatomy, but since I’ve never seen a single episode of the show, I won’t comment on that. At the 2016 BET Awards, Williams was presented with a humanitarian award and he set the stage on fire.

Now, we are going to have to start in the middle because before I start this rant, I want to reclaim some of the territory ceded by the black Republicans that came before me. I’m not so self-righteous in my own superiority that I can’t admit Jesse Williams hit the motherfucking nail on the head when he said:

“And let’s get a couple of things straight, just a little side note: The burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander. That’s not our job, alright? Stop with all that.”

 You don’t know how fucking much I hate this, but let me break down the language for full comprehension – from my perspective, not Jesse’s.

The burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander…” Now, I’ve been trying to break the instant Republican/Conservatives response of yelling “stop playing the victim.” You only yell that because you have brought into the progressive indoctrination that you (Black or white, as a Republican) are a perpetrator of the brutality. Why would you assume the mantle of the oppressor in a statement that doesn’t directly name you? Unless, somewhere deep inside, you actually believe it?

See, I cheered when I heard this statement because it’s the same thing I’ve been saying for years. As a matter of fact, I said it in my opening, for this very purpose. Black Republicans’ job has become making sure white Republicans are reassured that blacks vote for Democrats because of the plantation, not because of Republican apathy. So when SJWs talk about the burden of the brutalized, the black Republican defends the Republican party and attempts to call out the hypocrisy of the Democrats. It’s a song and dance they always lose. Because they’re wrong.

The burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander...” Do you need me to make it right-wing politically-correct for you to understand? The burden of those under Progressive domination in Democrat controlled cities is NOT to comfort Republicans. Did I move too fast? Should I break it down further?

If you believe Progressivism is a disease and its side effects are poverty, death and destruction; if you believe Progressivism is the greatest cancer in American society; if you believe that that cancer of poverty, death, and destruction has infiltrated and destroyed the black community; would you not call that brutalization? Because I would and I think it’s fucked up. And I don’t want Republicans to hold any comfort in that. I don’t want that cancer in my city when I honestly feel the Republican Ideals, not the politicians, are the cure and they stand by and watch it get sicker, weaker, and more radicalized.

So with my history of living the Progressive nightmare, I will not comfort you Republicans. I will check you every chance I get until you decide to stop being a fucking bystander.

Here’s Williams again:

“If you have a critique for the resistance—for our resistance—then you’d better have an established record of critique of our oppression. If you have no interest… If you have no interest in equal rights for black people, then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down.”

So Jesse, here’s where I stand up. See, I’ve been warning of an event like Ferguson for over five years now; and no, I wasn’t warning black audiences because I’m not welcomed there. Kinda like how you delivered your speech to a BET black-friendly audience because well, we both get it. Politics as usual… the lines have been drawn…

And hell, I’ll even admit that Republicans and conservatives ignored the shit out of me. They have zero interest in fighting for equal rights for black people. They just want to make sure they can say their hands are clean when the blood runs through the streets…

But I do have a question for you: did you know this shit was going to happen? Did you feel the anger, separation and struggle (having nothing to do with the police and everything to do with everyday existence) bubbling to the top? Because I can remember vividly, before the storm, I wasn’t allowed to talk about black people problems because that would be disrespecting the black president. All the conversations were focused on Barack Obama and the racism he was facing. When I asked about everyday black people, I got crickets… from black people.

So, having met your standards for justly applying critique of, your words not mine, “black oppression,” (because I don’t call it oppression when you vote for it) — can I offer this advice? Stop waiting for us to die before you give a fuck about us. Then, maybe, less of us would be dying. We have to die before you say our name. That’s some sad shit.

Oh and Jesse, I hope you meant it when you said:

“Now, this is also in particular 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.”

Because I’m going to put respect on your name and trust you meant the exact words you said, instead of the progressive interpretation that leads to disregarding the black women that don’t agree with you politically.

But, you might want to check with your Democrat Feminist buddies first. I don’t think progressive men (black or white) are allowed to “do” anything for black women. I think the appropriate reaction is “your misogynistic, patriarchal chauvinism has done enough for black women,” or something like that. You may want to check the rule book before making such comments.

Since I love black people, I love pointing out the good things first: Jesse Williams is a political wordplay tactical genius. I want to point out two things most people didn’t even notice…

First: Jesse is such a sweet boy. He praised his parents with these words…

“I just want to thank them for being here, for teaching me to focus on comprehension over career—they made sure I learned what the schools were afraid to teach us.”

Then, he said:

“Now—this award, this is not for me. This is for the real organizers all over the country, the activists, the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents, the families, the teachers, the students that are realizing that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do. Alright? It’s kind of basic mathematics.”

Now, the basic mathematics comment is just begging for a Common Core joke, but I digress…

Jesse’s parents taught him comprehension over career, things the schools were afraid to teach; but he thanks the teachers that are awaking to a system built to divide.

Can we stop playing like Democrats and Progressives don’t control the school system? Can we do some of that basic math and look at the “power plus influence plus money of the union equals total domination of the school system” equation? And if I could chose one event to prove Republicans really have no power in the school system, I’d point to the fact that God, Jesus, the Bible and prayer have been removed from schools. If Republicans had any control — shit, if the Republicans had total control — they would all be mandatory.

Now what Republicans do push — that really can’t be taken away by government — is that we groom, nurture and grow our children. We don’t believe it’s the government’s responsibility. We don’t care what the school system is afraid to do — we do what is necessary for our children to understand and comprehend and to seek out a career, not a job.

Did you catch the wordplay? Jesse thinks in term of career, not a $15-an-hour job. Here’s the tactical beauty: he can stand and state the source of his success (his parents teaching the things the schools wouldn’t — wait, that’s a right wing talking point, right?) with the language and thought process still intact. He has the most appealing parts of the Republican platform: well deserved success, unforced charity, freedom of speech, freedom to gather and assemble, freedom to redress grievances and the Constitution, which the Republican platform is supposed to hold in high regard, while simultaneously threatening to tear down the very system, protections and thought process that influenced him and raise up the government village that failed him.

I know I hit your hot button. I’ll let that fester while I point out another stroke of genius, probably the brightest stroke of genius:

“Now I got more, y’all. Yesterday would have been young Tamir Rice‘s 14th birthday. So I don’t want to hear any more 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 going home to make a sandwich. Tell Rekia Boyd how it’s so much better to live in 2016 than it is to live in 1612 or 1712. Tell that to Eric Garner. Tell that to Sandra Bland. Tell that to Dorian Hunt.”

Reminder: who’s been going around saying it’s better now than it was then? I’ll just leave that right there…

Tamir Rice — killed for having a toy gun.

Rekia Boyd — shot in the back of the head by an off-duty cop leaving a party.

Eric Garner — choked to death for selling a cigarette.

Sandra Bland — died in police custody, after being arrested for a simple traffic stop.

Dorian Hunt — killed while in cosplay costume with fake sword.

See, don’t get it twisted. I know their names and their stories. I pray for their parents and I know you’ll say that’s not enough. But I have suggestions to stop it and am more than willing to engage, just not with people who let their emotions overpower their intelligence.

This move by Jesse Williams is pure intelligence because NONE of these people should’ve died. I get real tired of hearing Republicans talk about an overbearing federal government while simultaneously supporting the enforcement wing of that overbearing federal government. Gun control — I will not submit and obey. Improper police interactions — submit and obey.  The government can’t check your email without due process. But police officers can shoot, no question, without the due process of American citizens they were supposed to protect and serve. And I know there is a difference between federal government and local police: or have you learned the lesson of the slippery slope both Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch have enacted by taking over local police departments? Why do you refuse to understand a right taken away from one group today will be taken away from you tomorrow?The canary in the coal mine has stopped singing… you better listen.

Now, Jesse, I can’t let this go without checking you too boo…

So, did you learn anything from Ferguson, from Baltimore? Who runs those cities? Democrats. Who’s been running those cities? Democrats. And who runs the police force? Democrats. And who makes the local laws? Democrats. Who chooses how, when and why those rules are enforced? Democrats.  And who controls the police unions that give these officers’ comfort, aid and support during this trying time in their lives? Democrats?

Now, I’ve admitted Republicans aren’t going to fight for you. Now, please, tell me, by the actions, encounters, lack of improvement or success — why are you looking at Republicans as enemies when you have friends like the Democrats that built, maintain, and protect everything you protest? Show me your friends — not your enemies, but your friends — and I’ll show you your future. Your friends call you “superpredators” and relegate you to getting their coffee. They push gun and drug laws that lock up millions of black men and offer welfare as a consolation prize. They are scared to teach black children how to think in the very schools those black children are mandated by Democrat-pushed laws to attend.

Now every black person has to choose, but I’d rather be ignored and left alone by Republicans with all my rights intact than to surrender my rights and trust any form of government to look out for what’s best for me, my family, my community or my country…

So when you say:

“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 gonna happen is we’re going to have equal rights and justice in our country, or we will restructure their function, and ours.”

We agree. The only thing we need to discuss is what is the governments’ current function and what is ours. Before we restructure it, we need a blueprint of how it currently stands.

And by all means, let’s look at the police data. But I also want to examine the abortion (created by Democrats) data; the War of Poverty (created by Democrats) data; the War on Drugs (created by Democrats) data; incarceration rates of gun possession with no other crime committed, just possession, which should be a Constitutional Right but for Democrat restrictions data; the black family (with 50+ years of Democrat champions) data; black property ownership data; black investment data (Wall Street is hated by Democrats but is the current gauge of Democrat economic success)…

We can do what they have done for the last 60 years and argue and bicker over the data, because trust me, Republicans spend millions upon millions of dollars on data about blacks, instead of actually doing something to solve black problems. The data itself is in abundance…

Or can we just cut the bullshit and talk. Currently, the American function is in a state of Progress.

“Freedom is always coming in the hereafter. But you know what, though? The hereafter is a hustle. We want it now.”

Me too — and that’s why I can’t understand for the life of me why you follow these people that claim “progress.” Do I have to do the whole true history of Progressivism? How it birthed Planned Parenthood to exterminate blacks; how it started unions to prevent black workers from taking white jobs; how the first gun laws were to prevent blacks from defending themselves against the KKK; how they tore down black neighborhoods and replaced them with ghettos; how they turned black men into criminals by passing more and more laws during Jim Crow and segregation; how they continued it further with drug laws and mandatory sentencing…

And this is the part where you tell me the parties switched sides: that in the 60s, the racist left the Democrat Party and joined the Republican Party. Allow me to pop your bubble. You know what stayed in the Democrat party? Planned Parenthood, the unions, gun laws, control of the ghettos they created — and they are now passing laws that make you a criminal for buying soda that is too large, for putting salt on your food, for letting your kid go to the playground beside your job while your at work, for beating your children when you catch them breaking into someone’s house. The police fucked up with Eric Garner because a Progressive law, meant to pull money out of the population by criminalizing shit that is none of their damn business, gave police the right to fuck with him.

So by all means, black people, let’s restructure this shit — and our purpose. You want to talk about the system in place, there you go. The progressive ideology runs black communities. I’ve already said Republicans aren’t there because they just don’t care. This is your Progressive American system. Here’s the blueprint. Go ahead and dismantle it.

Williams again:

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’s no tax they haven’t levied 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.

And that’s the point. The people that run your cities never offered you Freedom. Again, freedom, liberty: that’s some right-wing shit. That’s our language, our vocabulary. Not your Progressive leaders’.  They offer you your fair share, not freedom… They just don’t tell you they are going to levy a .05% tax on your water bill, light bill and gas bill, and higher on your property to provide you with that fair share. They use taxes, fees, fines and regulations to pay for your fair share; do the cops start fucking with you more and more at the end of the month? Yes; why, your progressive government needs the money to redistribute your fair share.

Stop blaming America for this shit. This is the shit the right-wing nut jobs fight against.

Let me give you a quick example. Criminal justice reform. Now everybody, including the right wing, flipped out when Chris Christie said if he became president he would strictly enforce drug laws. Now, let me show you what freedom looks like: under criminal justice reform, you are still a fucking criminal… They are tinkering around the edges, but it boils down to the fact that you are still a criminal. The government has your fingerprints, you’re in the system, shit, nowadays, they’ll take your DNA…

The 13th Amendment to the Constitution: Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime where you’ve been duly convicted… And that’s why criminal justice reform has nothing to do with freedom and everything to do with slavery and involuntary servitude. They will still convict you of a crime, you are still a criminal; and that gives the government power over you that a progressive will never relinquish.

When Chris Christie said he’d enforce the drug laws, he added, it will force a vote on whether to legalize (where criminalization is not even a question), or continue to create criminals. Real freedom or pseudo-freedom wrapped up in promises of progress…

Progressives can only offer you pseudo-freedom, because the end game to their progress is total government domination over every facet of your life.

“We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries, yo. And we’re done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment, like oil, black gold. Ghettoizing and demeaning our creations, then stealing them, gentrifying our genius, and then trying us on like costumes, before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit.”

I think you mixed up Progressivism with whiteness, because if you said, “And we’re done watching and waiting while this invention called Progressivism uses and abuses us,” I would volunteer to work for you and your organization, for free, starting today.

But I guess I should repeat the same shit because I know you meant what you said: Stop blaming America for this shit. “Burying black people out of sight and out of mind…” Republicans put their limited number of blacks in the forefront and can’t wait to call themselves the Party of Lincoln, plus the fact they are constantly called racists, black people are never out of sight or out of mind — just ignored.

“While extracting our culture…” Culture? Hip Hop, movies, TV, radio: none of that is under the control of Republicans. Like I said, it would be impossible for them to care less. Believe me, I’ve beat my head against that wall…

“Our entertainment, like oil, black gold…” Again, Republicans don’t have anything to do with that. They stay away from from black entertainment, unless it’s a black country singer. Oh, or sports star. Oh, or if you put on a really good face like Wayne Brady…

Ghettoizing and demeaning our creations…” Okay, Republicans are very guilty of this; but trust me, it’s just a defense mechanism because they don’t know anything about the creation or the creator. It’s Republican apathy: they don’t care to learn do the ridicule, dismiss, and blame.

“Then stealing them, gentrifying our genius, and then trying us on like costumes, before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit…” Blah blah blah Republicans don’t care blah blah blah…

Here’s the point: Hollywood is run by Progressives; Black radio is run by Progressives; the TV networks are run by Progressives. Who had Martin Lawrence on that eww wee, losing his mind, running down a California street? Progressives. Who drove Dave Chappelle to abandon a multi-million dollar contract and flee to Africa? Progressives. Who pushed the gun laws that had the feds tracking down T.I. right before the BET Awards show? Progressives.

Republicans don’t believe in cultural importance. Progressives use it as a means of control. Here’s that beautiful tactic showing its head again. Jesse could stand in front of a Progressive crowd, on a Progressive network, made for black people but owned by white progressives, and complain about Progressive cultural appropriation. And just lay all that shit at the feet of America, while every one around him is championing the self-professed Woodrow Wilson Progressive…

And here is where the rubber meets the motherfucking road:

“The thing is, though. All of us in here getting money? That alone isn’t gonna stop this. Dedicating our lives—dedicating our lives to getting money just to give it right back, for someone’s brand on our body. When we spent centuries praying with brands on our bodies. And now we pray to get paid for brands on our bodies.”

Is that why you work Jesse? To buy brands? Because Jay-Z told me years ago: nothing on my frame but my chain, my name. I’m not out here pushing the idea of getting money because I want a brand on my back. I’m out here pushing the idea of getting money because I don’t want my daughter living in Progressive traps they call ghettos. I don’t want her going to sleep hearing gunshots, fearing for her life when she walks to the school bus. I want my daughter to have the latest computer with all the software she can learn, so she can master comprehension now and pick a career later. I want to take her to the book store and let her fill the fucking cart because she prefers the feel of books to the iPad screen. I want to have a million dollars so if she comes to me one day and says, “I want to start a business,” I can give her a million dollars. And I want the same fucking thing for every other black person.

“The thing is though, the thing is, that just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.”

You mean like a magic Fire Wall because you’re so predictable to a system you despise that they don’t even take your threats seriously? The average person’s everyday life is just as fucked up, if not more, than it was before Barack Obama. And I’m not laying this at the feet of Barack Obama because I’ve laid out a 100-year progressive history that set all this shit in motion. He’s just playing his part.

See, we’re magic but the progressive shit we’ve been following isn’t real. It herds us into destructive communities with failing schools, no access to capitalism and a city budget that demands police interaction with citizens to raise fees, fines and regulations to make ends meet. They never promise us freedom, only equality — which for the bulk of us, turns into equality of poverty.

And this is the conversation, the serious conversation that needs to occur within the black community. I’m all-in for community policing but that means having armed citizens. You don’t want the police but you don’t want a gun either.

If you want true freedom, there’s a way to get it. Following Progressives leads to pseudo-freedom masked in feel-good emotions. Jesse, you made the crowd, social media and even me feel good — you ready to talk about real freedom now?



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