Oscar winner Jamie Foxx recently attended a Black Lives Matter protest in San Francisco, where he gave a powerful speech and called on more celebs to join the cause.
The death of George Floyd has sparked outrage around the world, and many have stepped up to protest. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died on Memorial Day shortly after being arrested for a nonviolent act in Minneapolis. Video of the arrest shows white police officer Derek Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s neck as Floyd says he can’t breathe and pleads for help. Chauvin and the other three officers involved have been fired and arrested, and are now facing charges in Floyd’s death.
Jamie spoke out against police brutality, telling the crowd in San Francisco, “I was there in L.A. when there was the Rodney King beating and I watched that and said, ‘If they get away with this now, what is going to happen later?’
Foxx, who attended Floyd’s funeral last week in Houston, later added, “There has to be a deterrent. If that man can be handcuffed and that man can sit on that man’s neck for that long and feel comfortable about it, it means he’s not afraid of what is going to happen. We have to change the language. They have to be worried. They have to go to jail for this. They have to respect us.”
Foxx had a message for his Hollywood friends, asking them to come out to the protests.
“What I want to say about my Hollywood friends [is] you gotta get out here. You can’t sit back, you can’t tweet, you can’t text, you gotta get out here. So many people have texted me saying, ‘Foxx, can you tell them to stop doing this, Foxx can you tell them to stop doing that?’”
His response? “You tell them. You come out, you see what it is. You gotta understand people are hurting… Those private jets you got, get on them.”
Jamie added, “The best way to help out is just let them see your face.”
The star also encouraged more white people to do their part. “White people, man, it goes a long way, it goes a long way to see you step up. I know sometimes it gets uncomfortable, but I can tell you it goes a long way.”
Before his speech, Jamie spoke about the unrest with his team on a private plane.
He pointed out, “I tell people all the time, when it comes to riots… riots happen in extreme happiness and extreme anger… So I caution people to not get so thin-skinned when it comes to that… We don’t want people to lose their business. We don’t want people losing their goodwill; however, that is how significant the knee on the neck is… He wasn’t putting the knee on just his neck — he was putting his knee on all of our necks.”
Foxx added, “He is the one with the knee who burns down the stores, he is the one with his knee who causes havoc for police officers now in the streets. Just because he felt so cavalier with this man’s life — judge, jury, and prosecution — that he thought he could do it because he was protected by law, and that is why we are doing these marches — so we can change the language of the law.”