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Monday 29 May 2023 Dublin: 14°C
# A Matter of Race
Grey's Anatomy's Jesse Williams on Ferguson: 'I've never seen a white body left in the street for 4 hours'
The actor schooled CNN on white privilege and double standards.

TheGlobalNews32 / YouTube

GREY’S ANATOMY STAR and activist Jesse Williams has been praised today for his powerful appearance on CNN, where he was asked to discuss matters of race in relation to events in Ferguson, Missouri.

The former teacher criticises some of the reporting of the events, noting that many commentators do not start at the beginning but find a different narrative.

“You’ll find that the people doing the oppressing always want to start the narrative at a convenient part, or always want to start the story in the middle.

“This started with a kid getting shot and killed and left in the street for four hours,” he continues.

I’ve never seen a white body left in the street for four hours in the sweltering heat. The cop doesn’t call in the shooting, the body isn’t put in an ambulance, it’s shuttled away in some shady unmarked SUV.

Williams spoke about the shooting of Michael Brown on 9 August by a white police officer. His death has sparked protests across the town.

Since the shooting, police have said that the 18-year-old was a suspect in a robbery at a convenience store but later admitted that the shooter, Darren Wilson would not have known about it.

He had stopped Brown and his friend for walking in the middle of the street instead of the sidewalk.

“There’s a lot of bizarre behaviour going on and that is the story, that’s where we need journalism. That’s where we need that element of society to kick into gear and not just keep playing a loop of what the kid may have done in a convenience store,” Williams told CNN.

“That’s unfortunate, if that happened, that’s going to be factored in, like it or not. But we need journalism to kick in and start telling the story from the beginning, this is about finding justice for a kid that was shot, an 18-year-old that was shot, period.”

“This idea that because he stole a handful of cheap cigars, what’s that $5? I’ve lived in white suburbs of this country for a long time, I know plenty of white kids who steal stuff from a convenience store… This idea that every time a black person does something, they automatically become a thug worthy of death when we don’t own drug crimes.

We’re not the only ones who sell and do drugs all the time. We’re not the only ones that steal and talk crazy to cops.

“There’s a complete double standard and a complete different experience that a certain element of this country has the privilege of being treated like human beings, and the rest of us are not treated like human beings, period.

“That needs to be discussed, that’s the story. That’s what gets frustrating for people — because you don’t know five black folks, five black men in particular, that have not been harassed and felt threatened by police officers. You can’t throw a rock and find five of them. We’re not making this up.”

Explainer: What is happening in Ferguson, Missouri?

Opinion: The protesters in Missouri have wrongly become enemies of the State 

Potshots, tear gas, snipers and curfews: ‘Fighting a war with unarmed citizens’ in Ferguson

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