In a post to her official Facebook page, Serena Williams expressed her concerns about the epidemic of police brutality against black Americans. She quotes Martin Luther King Jr. on the betrayal of silence and seems to open to the door to being more vocal about these issues.
She details a recent car ride with her black nephew and the fear she felt when she noticed a police officer behind them. She said she immediately thought of the video of Philando Castile who was shot dead by a police officer in July for no reason beyond being a black man.
For a woman who has herself faced plenty of blatant racism throughout her career, Serena has largely remained tight-lipped and has steered clear of open political criticism. She has made references to the treatment she’s received due to the “color of her skin,” but as a Jehovah’s Witness, Serena has said that she’s not involved in politics and doesn’t vote.
You can read her entire statement below.
Today I asked my 18 year old nephew (to be clear he’s black) to drive me to my meetings so I can work on my phone #safteyfirst. In the distance I saw cop on the side of the road. I quickly checked to see if he was obliging by the speed limit. Than I remembered that horrible video of the woman in the car when a cop shot her boyfriend. All of this went through my mind in a matter of seconds. I even regretted not driving myself. I would never forgive myself if something happened to my nephew. He’s so innocent. So were all “the others”
I am a total believer that not “everyone” is bad It is just the ones that are ignorant, afraid, uneducated, and insensitive that is affecting millions and millions of lives.
Why did I have to think about this in 2016? Have we not gone through enough, opened so many doors, impacted billions of lives? But I realized we must stride on- for it’s not how far we have come but how much further still we have to go.
I than wondered than have I spoken up? I had to take a look at me. What about my nephews? What if I have a son and what about my daughters?
As Dr. Martin Luther King said “ There comes a time when silence is betrayal”.