Tony and Emmy winner Billy Porter has a message for America: It is time for permanent change. In a nearly 17-minute long video posted to Instagram June 4, the star called out various communities for their past transgressions and listed the actions needed to fix America's ills, including listening to Black voices and voting in November. Watch the video in full below.
“We as a nation are at a tipping point,” Porter says. “The tipping point, one that has been heating towards boiling over for hundreds of years.”
Later on, he added, “The American Democratic experiment is failing. We are not, nor have we ever been, better than this. We have tried. Progress has been made. But as we can see, centuries of progress can be rolled back and snuffed out by white men who fear they are losing their power. And when white men get scared, wars happen.”
Encouraging people to vote in November, Porter concluded, “It’s time for change. Change for good.”
Porter also offered a short history lesson and reminder that America is built on a foundation of violent seizure, saying, “Christopher Columbus did not discover America. The motherf*cker sailed over here on Miss Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria and stole this land from indigenous people, who were already here, through violence, disease, and genocide. This country, as it stands right now, was built on the backs of my ancestors who were, in fact, stolen by force from their homeland and forced into slavery. Slavery—that is the foundation of America. This country was built on thievery, violence, genocide, and slavery. Period.
“So I find it disingenuous when my well-meaning white liberal allies, news outlets, politicians, faith leaders and all the rest of my Caucasian compatriots act as if this shit is new. Ain’t none of it new. You all know it and you all benefit from this ancient privilege simply by being white. This is why nothing has changed. Let me rephrase that: things have changed but nothing has changed for good. So please, please keep your white I-didn’t-do-it fragility to yourselves and simply listen. Finally, listen to us.”
Porter later spoke directly to the black community about its record with the LGBTQ+ community, saying, “The community’s relationship with the LGBTQ+ community is appalling at best... Hear me black people and hear me well—I’m calling y’all out. You cannot expect our demands of equality to be met with any real legislative policy and change when y’all turn around and inflict the same kind of hate and oppression on us... LGBTQ+ black folks are black people, too. Our lives matter, too. So this is my response… get your fucking houses in order.”