Jesse Williams BET Awards Speech Put the “Black” Back in BET

I can’t wait for all this Jesse Williams love to wear off so you Negroes can go back to that Hotep shit like talking about boycotting earth, and how voting doesn’t matter. You know, because life is so much better when we’re all stuck on stupid and fighting with Justin Timberlake on Twitter.

I don’t want to take anything away from Jesse Williams. His acceptance speech at the BET Awards last night was indeed profound – very profound, greatly needed, and right on time.

However, there’s a part of me that feels that the subsequent positive reaction to his speech is due in large part to the fact that it was delivered at the BET Awards. Remember, it wasn’t the Oscars, Emmy’s, or even the MTV Awards. No, it was the BET Awards.

Jesse Williams accets BET's Humanitarian Award at the 2016 BET Awards,
Jesse Williams accepts BET’s Humanitarian Award at the 2016 BET Awards,

So, what does that mean? What it means is that we – grown people of color of a certain age – have come to expect the BET Awards to be a mixed bag of assorted foolishness and fuckery. No, don’t laugh – you know it’s true. Hell, some of us in the forty-and-over crowd, by choice, can’t even find BET on the channel guide anymore. So yeah, in that regard, Williams’ speech was the curve ball that shattered expectations.

This isn’t a bad thing. It’s just that it wouldn’t be a big deal if this is what we can all come to expect from anything produced by BET.

Here’s the thing : Jesse Williams was essentially preaching to the choir. At the end of the day, as profound as his humanitarian award acceptance speech was, the people who needed to hear it didn’t hear it.

My guess is that if they did hear it, there’d be less talk about Justin Timberlake’s alleged appropriation of blackness, that Jesse Williams being a light-skinned black man with green eyes invalidates his message or whatever other silly reactionary chatter this speech has provoked.

Way to go keeping your eyes on the prize, people.

Jesse Williams would be so proud of you. After all, like he said in his speech, “Just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.”

We’re real, alright – at times, real messed up.