This article originally appeared on the blog of Heretic, the magazine of We Are Libertarians.
Yesterday, actor John Boyega gave an impassioned and important speech to a group protesting the killing of George Floyd, police brutality, and the enormity of systemic racism against black and brown people in America (and other Western countries).
Like the character Finn who he played in the three latest episodic Star Wars movies, Boyega is not afraid to stand up for his beliefs. Like Finn, Boyega is willing to speak truth to power. In a world where the president is actively quoting segregationist sheriffs on Twitter, public figures boldly and unapologetically stomping down hateful ideologies is crucial for those who are still learning about the world and developing their moral codes.
I say, three cheers for John Boyega, a true fighter for The Resistance.
The following is the text of this speech, from June 3, 2020:
I want to thank every single one of you for coming out. This is very important, this is very vital
Black lives have always mattered, we have always been important, we have always meant something, we have always succeeded regardless, and now is the time – I ain’t waiting, I ain’t waiting. I have been born in this country, I am 28 years old, born and raised in London and for time every black person understands and realizes the first time you were reminded that you were black. Every black person in here remember when another person reminded you that you were black.
So none of you out there, all those other protesters on the other side protesting against what want to do, protesting against what we want to try and achieve, damn you, because this is so vital.
I need you guys to understand. I need you guys to understand. I need you to understand how painful this shit is.
And that isn’t the case anymore. There is never a case anymore. We are going to try it today.
We are a physical representation of our support for George Floyd. We are a physical representation in our support for Sandra Bland. We are a physical representation on our support for Trayvon Martin. We are a physical representation of our support for Stephen Lawrence, for Mark Duggan.
Today is about innocent people who were halfway through their process. We don’t know what George Floyd could have achieved, we don’t know what Sandra Bland could have achieved, but today we’re going to make sure that won’t be an alien thought to our young ones.
It is very, very important that we keep control to this moment and we make this as peaceful as possible. We make this as peaceful and as organised as possible. Because you know what guys, they want us to mess up.
They want us to be disorganized, but not today. Not today. Not today. This message is specifically for black men. Black men.
Black men, black men, we need to take care of our black women. We need to care of them. They are us. They are us. They are our future. We cannot demonize our own. We are the pillars of the family. Imagine this, a nation that is set up with individual families that are thriving, that are healthy, that communicate, that raise their children in love. Have a better rate of becoming better human beings. And that’s what we need to create. Black men, it starts with you.
We can’t be trusted no more. We have to be better. You don’t understand. I’m speaking to you from my heart.
Today is about innocent people who were halfway through that process. We don’t know what George Floyd could have achieved. We don’t know what Sandra Bland could have achieved, but today we’re going to make sure that that won’t be an alien thought to our young ones.
I’m sure you all came today, you left your kids, and when you see your kids, they’re aimlessly playing. They don’t understand what’s going on. Today’s the day that we remind them that we are dedicated, and this is a lifelong dedication.
Guys, we don’t leave here and stop. We don’t leave here and stop. This is longevity. Some of you are artists. Some of you are artists, some of you are bankers, some of you are lawyers, some of you own shop stores. You are important, your individual power, your individual right is very, very important. We can all join together to make this a better world.
We can all do it together to make this special. We can all join together.