Billy Porter: ‘White folks are mad they had to follow orders from a Black man for 8 years’

Billy Porter at the 92nd Academy Awards held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, USA on February 9, 2020.
Billy Porter posted a video to Instagram addressed to white people, white allies and homophobic and transphobic Black people. I couldn’t stop watching him and he gave so many great quotes I wanted to write down everything he said. I didn’t even know which of the many strong points he made to make the title to this story. It also made me want him to go into politics, but I know that’s not realistic at all. I’m only going to excerpt part of what he said, it was really hard to figure out what to cut it was all so good, but you can see the full video below and here’s part of his speech.

There is no doubt in my mind that we as a nation are at a tipping point. The tipping point. One that has been heating towards boiling over for hundreds of years. Our basic human rights, our black bodies have been used as pawns for political gain since the beginning…

As a Black queer man in America, my basic human rights have been up for legislation every day that I have had breath in my body…

As black people, we risk our lives every time we leave our homes. As queer people of color, that risk is doubled. We move about our days sucking it up, hiding our pain and terror from the world, trying to make ourselves small so white people and straight people can feel comfortable. Our parents have to prepare us for the realities of this world. The fact that the playing field is not level. The laws that protect white people do not do the same for us, and that we have to be at least ten times better at anything we chose to do in life to simply get in the rooms where things happen.

We had a Black president. We thought we won something. We were eight years in power. Or so we thought… For hundreds of years, generations after generations, we have fought… It enrages me that after nearly 400 years of the same hate, the same oppression, the same inequities, we, the Black people, have to continue to be forced to educate our white allies as to what white privilege is and how they benefit from this destructive, imbalanced, systematic, American race-based infrastructure.

Please understand that what’s going on in this country right now is not new and white folks are mad that they had to follow orders from a black man for eight years…

Whether it’s these specific violations [Central Park Karen, George Floyd’s murder] or the build-up of centuries of institutionalized oppression, the result is what we see before us. 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 have seen, centuries of progress can be rolled back and snuffed out by white men who fear they losing their power. When white men get scared, wars happen. When white men fear losing their power, they will stop at nothing to keep it, including blowing up the entire world.

40 million people on employment, 100,000 dead from a plague. Civil unrest in the streets of America that has reached the tipping point. I ask you this one simple question: Are you better off than you were before? Y’all remember that question from the Reagan years?

So, we have two clear choices in November: vote this motherf’er and his cronies out of office, reset and begin the American Democratic experiment again at zero or not. In November, this election is the most important that we’ve ever seen in our lifetime.

[From Billy Porter on Instagram]

I really liked what he said about scared white men blowing things up to avoid giving up power. It’s so chilling, but true. I often think about the white supremacists whining that Obama was going to bring martial law and take away their guns. Trump ended up sending the military and private prison guards to tear gas and fire rubber bullets at American people. As Billy said this feels like the tipping point, but we all need to keep it up and to vote.

Here’s his speech.

2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party

Billy Porter at the 92nd Academy Awards held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, USA on February 9, 2020.

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19 Responses to “Billy Porter: ‘White folks are mad they had to follow orders from a Black man for 8 years’”

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  1. grabbyhands says:


    Everything and all of it. All of what he said.

    • Winnie says:

      I don’t know if that is fully true. 43% of white voters voted for Obama. The same as voted for Bill Clinton.

      If white people were as racist as he believes, it should have been at least less than a white man from Arkansas.

      Are there some racist white people? Of course. I was horrified by some of the things said about Barack and Michelle. I just wish he wouldn’t stereotype. There are some racist people of every race from what I’ve seen of life.

  2. Aims says:

    That was my first thought as well. President Obama came into office and was popular, wise and did an amazing job. Then the bitter white men got pissed about it and now we’re in the position we’re in now. It’s racism on top of racism.

  3. Mumbles says:

    Obama’s presidency did stoke and embolden the racist right, who convinced themselves they were aggrieved victims by virtue of his election. Just look at the Cliven Bundy crowd, and how Fox News made them into heroes.

    And, his presidency allowed more “genteel” racists to argue that racism was “over” to diminish any well-founded claim of racist behavior.

  4. judith a reeder says:

    Im white, and I voted for Obama, I thought he did a very good job as president, and I miss him!!!

    • Laalaa says:

      🙂 Jordan Peele Get out qoute is in your words, which proves Jordan Peele’s point.

  5. Darla says:

    The most important election was 2016, because we won’t regain the courts for 30 years no matter what now. I mean, barring really radical action, we won’t. So much lost. I don’t know. Yeah, it was definitely white backlash to the Obama presidency. Of course misogyny was involved. Trump really knows how to excite white people’s ugly underbellies. And men’s when it comes to women. It’s really the only thing he excels at. I consider him to be actually evil. Outright. I guess this election is the most important of our lives considering what’s done is done. Certainly, I am desperate to get trump and his thugs out. I don’t downplay that. But i do fear Trumpism is ingrained in a significant percentage our our countrymen. And I don’t know what to do about that.

    • paranormalgirl says:

      I will never understand the women who support Trump. I will just never get it.

      • Darla says:

        I hold them in such contempt.

      • sa says:

        I agree.

        But, you could replace “women” with any other group and I still don’t get it and hold them all in contempt. They have to own all of it. Trump didn’t hide who he was, they all knew who and what they were voting for.

  6. paranormalgirl says:

    We HAVE to vote out the orange menace. There is no way this nation can survive another 4 years of bufoonery and asshattery. Nope. No way. Change needs to come. I’m not anticipating any great changes or strides following this election (regardless we’re electing an old white man), Biden can open the doors and start paving the way but it’s 2024 where the change can and should happen in earnest.

  7. HK9 says:

    Yup! I dectect no lies.

  8. Christina says:

    When I hear him, I think of the many sad moments that family and friends have endured, especially having to shrink back so that you don’t attract hate. When young people refuse to shrink back and they assert their rights and call BS, like my daughter, mother’s fear for their children’s safety. I am proud of my daughter and nieces and nephews, but I fear for them because they have had a bunch of close calls. Many friends have too, and so have my uncles and their friends. I saw a picture on Instagram of a boarded up store, and someone painted, “When he called for his mama all the mothers were summoned.” It brought tears.

    These conversations happen in spaces when POC are free to speak. I’ve hear these types of words my whole life, and I am always saddened when I run into ignorant people who don’t understand. The oppressed always know the oppressor better than the oppressor knows the oppressed.

  9. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I wish idiots would and could listen to that video, but I don’t see ‘Jethros’ putting away their guns and flags in favor of the great equalizing of America. I love him though.

  10. holly hobby says:

    Not only that you have to vote out Mitch and every evil GOPer enabler in Congress. You control both the Senate and House and that turd is cooked – even if he’s reelected.

  11. adastraperaspera says:

    He’s right. These times remind me of what happened during the Reconstruction era after the Civil War. Historian Eric Foner estimates that there were at least 2,000 African-Americans elected to legislatures after the war. Sickeningly, they were soon terrorized and chased out by the rise of the Ku Klux Klan. This is also the modern white supremacist approach to this era after Obama’s presidency. Their goal is to use state-sponsored intimidation, terror tactics and oppressive legislation to ensure another 100+ years of no black representation. We can’t let them.

  12. Ariel says:

    Billy Porter is my Queen. He is absolutely amazing, and, as usual, he is right on the money.

  13. MsLib says:

    Such a good article! Thank you

  14. jferber says:

    Damn right, Billy Porter. For a certain type of white man, that experience radicalized their crazy. I still love Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Also, you MUST see Billy in the Tiffany Haddish/Salma Hayak film. He stole the movie and he is everything!