Wayne Brady is known for making people laugh, but the multi-talented star got serious about police brutality in a recent video he shared on social media.
The actor/singer described the constant state of fear he experiences while driving and did his best to convey how scary it is to be behind the wheel as a Black man in America.
“Immediately, my heart starts to beat a little faster. Immediately, I’m doing the mental checklist of I know my insurance is there,” he explains in the Instagram video. “I start to ease the insurance and my registration out of my glove box. I’m taking my wallet out of my pocket. Like I said, my heart starts to beat faster. I feel scared. It’s 8:46 in the morning on a bright sunny day. I did nothing. I immediately went through the checklist. Are my tags up to date? Immediately I think ‘Is this guy following because I’m a black guy in a nice car in Malibu?’”
Brady’s video is just a reminder that mundane tasks like running errands could result in a life or death situation depending on the color of your skin.
“This story doesn’t have a dramatic ending. It’s more to just share with some of you that have never felt that feeling that it’s real. This fear is real,” e continued. “The fear that someone can not like you from a distance or have a problem with the way you look. It’s ingrained in us. And my heart is still beating fast. This is a feeling I felt ever since I started driving when I was 18, and I’m 48 now. And, in fact, I’m more frightened now than when I was 18. I wanna be able to make it home to my daughter. And I know that that’s a shared, collective fear in the Black zeitgeist.”
“To anyone that says all lives matter [and] it’s not about black lives, I can only be concerned about my black life right now at this moment, when I was pulling in, because there’s a chance that I could have won a very f*cked up lottery,” he says. “And it’s the same chance that my brothers and sisters face every single day as we drive, or as we walk, or as we jog, or as we sit at a drive-through in a restaurant. And I don’t want to feel this, but it’s a reality.”
The Whose Line Is It Anyway regular discussed the video during a recent interview with on The Talk and explained that being a celebrity doesn’t shield him from discrimination.
“You shouldn’t have to rely on someone knowing your face to be treated well. You shouldn’t be patted on the back, ‘Well, hey, it’s you, get outta here.’ No, you should be treated in a manner where, if you committed a crime, I get it, get stopped. Get pulled over. Go through that process but you should expect to come out alive on the other end,” he said.
“There’s a tangible fear that black people have when we are doing things like driving, or now like jogging, I have to be aware of the clothing that I have on. Because if I’m in the wrong place and someone comes after me, they’re not saying, ‘Oh, wait, that’s Wayne from such and such.’ No, I fit the description.”
Check out the clip: