Generally speaking, when protesting racism, it’s a bad idea to say things that are aggressively racist. This inescapable rule of irony has caught up to Michelle Williams, Chief of Staff for the New Black Panther Party, who made the mistake of using some very colorful language in an interview about the Trayvon Martin case.
“Let me tell you, the things that’s about to happen, to these honkeys, these crackers, these pigs, these pink people, these —- people. It has been long overdue,” Williams said in an interview. “My prize right now this evening … is gonna be the bounty, the arrest, dead or alive, for George Zimmerman. You feel me?”
She added later: “It’s in me to fight. It’s in me to raise up soldiers. It’s in me that every time my feet touch the ground the state of Florida- these crackers- they scared.”
The Blaze’s original story on Williams’s comments have garnered over 1,000 comments. You can listen to the shocking audio here.
Now, apparently aware that her words pose the danger of discrediting her supposedly anti-racist convictions, Williams has apologized for the words, claiming they were said out of excessive emotions, not out of genuine racist convictions. WTSP Tampa has the full story:
As a community activist and chief of staff for the New Black Panther Party, Michelle is used to addressing many issues. But when it comes to her passion in the Trayvon Martin case, she get especially upset and tearful.
Through tears, she said, “If my words, my words that I had to say out of anger will make the American people address this issue, let it be my time, Melanie. Let it be my time to address this issue with America, that we say enough is enough. We can’t have any more killings.”[…]
She spoke openly, “My words were out of anger. I did not incite, I did not promote, nor did I encourage anyone to go and pick up a gun.”
Some, no doubt, will see Williams as a well-intentioned, but less than perfectly careful spokesperson for an essentially good cause. Others will point to the problematic racial track record of the New Black Panthers as evidence that Williams’ apology is akin to a six-year-old apologizing for theft after being caught with one fist buried in the cookie jar.
And what of Williams’ allegation that she “did not incite, did not promote, nor…encourage anyone to go and pick up a gun?” Certainly her controversial quote doesn’t mention a gun specifically, but many would suggest that putting out a bounty on Zimmerman “dead or alive” does nothing to discourage violence against him – in fact, it arguably implicitly sanctions it.
Is this an apology or an attempt to cover her tracks? Weigh in below.