These days, everybody is a brand.
Your face, your hair, the way you talk, they way you dress, your attitude, your posts on Daily Kos, Facebook and Twitter are all marketable pieces of you. Your brand.
This is especially true if you are a celebrity.
One of the fundamental laws of the ubiquitous branding universe is that you must never do anything to damage your brand. If you damage your brand, then you damage how many potential buyers you can have. That is a sin against capitalism.
So to make your brand appealing to a majority of consumers, you should try to be apolitical, post-racial and generally non-threatening to the status quo.
Since the events in Ferguson have unfolded, both have been lighting up black twitter with unapologetic commentary.
Here's one of my favorite tweets of Williams responding to a fan who didn't like what he had to say about CNN's coverage of the events in Ferguson.
That would be an excellent sig line.
Even that tweet was tepid compared to the message he had for some other followers, who also did not like his stance on the events in Ferguson.
That tweet from Williams is below the orange squiggle.
Williams said that he grew up in the 'hood in Chicago and he also grew up in the 'burbs of Massachusetts. According to Wikipedia, "Williams graduated from Temple University with a double major in African American Studies and Film and Media Arts. Following in the footsteps of his parents, he taught high school in the Philadelphia public school for six years, where he used his degree earned at Temple, to teach American Studies, African Studies, and English."
So he's not an airhead celebrity with blinders on when it comes to talking about injustice in America.
Here is Jesse Williams appearing on State of the Union talking about the role journalists should be playing in the coverage of Mike Brown's death:
Well I think that we have to talk about the narrative and and making sure we're starting at the beginning.Here's Williams talking about software developer Michael Dunn's slaying of Jordan Davis:
You'll find that the people doing the oppressing often want to start the narrative at a convenient point. They 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.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 aaa in some shady, unmarked SUV.
There's a lot of bizarre behavior going on and that is the story.
That's where is where we need journalism. That's where we need that element of our society to kick into gear and not just keep playing a loop that gets discovered, of what the kid may have, or did apparently in a convenience store. That's unfortunate. You know, if that happened, that's going to be factored in like it or not but we need journalism to kick in to start telling the story from the beginning.
This is about a kid; for finding justice for a kid that was shot, an 18-year-old that was shot, period.
And this idea that because he stole a handful of cheap cigars--what's that worth, five bucks, from a convenience store?
I've lived in white suburbs of this country for a long time. I know plenty of white kids that steal stuff from a convenience store.
This idea that every time a black person does something, they automatically become a thug worthy of their own death...
We don't own drug crime. We're not the only ones that sell and do drugs all the time. We're not the only ones that steal. We're not the only ones that 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. And that needs to be discussed. That is the story.
So that's where it gets very 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.
(Off camera voice) Jesse Williams I can't thank you enough.
Williams: We're not making this up.