Actor Jesse Williams Just Destroyed the Racist Double Standard of Policing in America
On Monday, Grey's Anatomy star Jesse Williams dove into the Sandra Bland case, decrying what he said was a far bigger issue at work. Bland, who was pulled over for changing lanes while failing to signal, died under suspicious circumstances in police custody on July 13.
In 24 posts on Twitter, Williams argued the real problem was not the single case of Sandra Bland or the state trooper who arrested her, but the double standard of how some Americans can exercise their rights while others cannot.
"A select segment of Americans are granted the privilege of being able to resist said tyranny, scream at it, punch, shove or elude it," Williams wrote in his tweets. "For membership consideration, this club has ONE requirement: the citizen(s) resisting police/the law/status quo must be white." Williams implied that had Bland been white, she would have been lauded online for standing up for her rights and resisting police tyranny.
"Blackness is born to be w/ 2.9 strikes. A life that can & will be snatched by it's nation at any time, any place. Any age, any gender."
Meanwhile, what actually happened to Sandra Bland continues to raise more questions by the day.
The most recent revelation indicates Bland reportedly attempted suicide earlier this year, using pills after the death of her baby. The news came after the release of a handwritten jail intake screening, the Washington Post reported. At the time of her arrest, Bland reported being "very depressed," but indicated she was not feeling suicidal. The news was a contradiction to claims Bland's sister Sharon Cooper made, talking to reporters earlier this week saying, "based on the Sandy I knew, this is unfathomable to me."
Whether or not Bland committed suicide, her questionable arrest was only the latest in a string of examples that highlight a well-documented double standard between how police treat white and black suspects. Mostly peaceful black protests in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray resulted in a full court police response, while images from the aftermath of a murderous, mostly white, gang shootout in Waco, Texas, showed a far more casual atmosphere.