The protests in Baltimore have drawn criticism from all corners, from the dismissal of black people as thugs to calling the now-violent protests a "riot." Many have fought back at the idea the violence against property is nonsensical — but actor Jesse Williams took that a step further with a string of powerful, passionate tweets.
As noted by Essence, the Grey's Anatomy actor took critics of the protest to task on his Twitter timeline Monday night, specifically calling out the term "riot."
He took aim at the term "riot" in particular because of its racial connotation. As others have noted, riots in the white community are seen as, as Williams put it, "blowing off steam." The property damage is minimized in those cases, whereas it is the primary focus of complaint for those judging protesters in Baltimore or Ferguson, Missouri.
But the bulk of Williams' ire was for critics of the protests who don't also condemn the police violence against Freddie Gray. "So what kind of violence do you like?" he asked.
Williams isn't the only one asking these questions. From media coverage to statements from public figures, the reactions to what's been happening in Baltimore consistently loses sight of why the protests are happening at all. Freddie Gray died at the hands of police. Michael Brown died at the hands of police. Walter Scott died at the hands of police. Yet all people seem to care about is property damage.