Award-winning actress Alfre Woodard isn’t one to keep quiet about racism and police violence in America. In a recent interview with People, the “Luke Cage” star shared her concerns about her own son’s safety and challenged more celebs to speak up.
During the interview, she broke down in tears, thinking about how easy it is for Black people to be caught in the crosshairs of police brutality.
“As a mom, when you’re actually afraid for your son to be on the streets because he might get mistaken for somebody else,” she said. “In 2016, as far as we all have come and how we live, shame on you if you don’t raise your voice and say, ‘I’m drawing attention to this.’”
Looking at Colin Kaepernick and others like him, Woodard says she’s “proud” of their ability to see past their own wealth and take a stance for the community as a whole.
“I am proud that these young men and women are thinking and are understanding this moment they’re in and are not just saying, ‘I live in privilege, I live in protection and to the hell with everybody else.'”
She also had words for those who criticize Kaepernick’s protest and call his actions un-American.
“The fact that people want to vilify somebody for taking an avenue that has been fought for and bleed for us to be able to live and speak our minds as Americans, that’s ridiculous,” she added.
And while acknowledging that not all police are bad, Woodard stressed that it doesn’t negate the fact that this country has a serious issue with race that desperately needs to be discussed.
“The vast majority of law enforcement men and women, they do protect and serve us. And it’s a heavy weight on them to have to make those quick decisions,” she said.
“But it only takes running into that one that doesn’t even realize they have issues around race and culture, and they’re jumpy. So, yes we have to talk about it.”
Watch the interview in its entirety here.