We need to talk about an injustice | Bryan Stevenson


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In an engaging and personal talk -- with cameo appearances from his grandmother and Rosa Parks -- human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson shares some hard truths about America's justice system, starting with a massive imbalance along racial lines: a third of the country's black male population has been incarcerated at some point in their lives. These issues, which are wrapped up in America's unexamined history, are rarely talked about with this level of candor, insight and persuasiveness. TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Featured speakers have included Al Gore on climate change, Philippe Starck on design, Jill Bolte Taylor on observing her own stroke, Nicholas Negroponte on One Laptop per Child, Jane Goodall on chimpanzees, Bill Gates on malaria and mosquitoes, Pattie Maes on the "Sixth Sense" wearable tech, and "Lost" producer JJ Abrams on the allure of mystery. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts. Closed captions and translated subtitles in a variety of languages are now available on TED.com, at /> If you have questions or comments about this or other TED videos, please go to



Lisette DuFore
Everyone go read his book, Just Mercy. It was one of the most powerful and inspiring books I've ever read.
Mikel1988
Bryan Stevenson for President
Danielle Robinson
52 years old??? He look 30!
Megan Thomas
"The way to think about it is not do people deserve to die because of the crimes they commit but do we deserve to kill?" amazing
ytjhhh
We won't be judged by our intellect, technology, design. You dont judge a society by how they treat the rich , the powerful, the privileged You judge the character of a society by how they treat the poor, the condemned, the incarcerated. Because it is in that nexus we understand truly profound things about who who we are. 16:50
ezyfnef
People talk about frogs on TED and rake in millions of views but a topic this crucial to the integrity of our society gets about 300k. Distasteful!
Simon Chris
This is one of the best Ted Talks.
VZA
Grandma tells him not to tell anybody... gets on TED and first thing out of his mouth...
Ashok Vardhan
One of the most powerful talks I have ever heard on TED. Bryan Stevenson is a very powerful speaker.
Moli Meshulam
This is legitimately the best TED Talk I've ever watched.
Mark Walton
Thank you Bryan Stevenson. Thank you for helping me gain a much deeper understanding of the power of identity and compassion. The politics of fear and anger disconnect us from our humanity. So true.
ytjhhh
We have a system of justice in our country that treats you much better if you are rich and guilty than if you are poor and innocent. Wealth not culpability shapes outcomes. Very true' Bryan Stevenson. 6:45
Candace Robinson
I did not want him to stop talking! 😳
Andreas Georgiades
Stephen Colbert sent me here. Thank you, Bryan for what you do. We are all proud of you.
liltika007
It's a shame how few views this video has...
Yoonseong Lee
The best talk I've ever heard.
Kay2B
How does a human hear this injustice and turn his/her head? When Bryan speaks "If I lived during the lynchings, I would have not allowed it," "If I lived during slavery, I would not have allowed it," " If I lived during the "terrorizing" of black/brown people, I would have done something to stop it," I reflected on how often I have thought those thoughts and heard those words from people who believe their passionate positions. I realize I need to move beyond, "If I lived..." to how I live today. Share the injustices. Encourage discussions to change the "narrative," move to give hope to someone with no hope, believe I can make a difference by moving out of my comfort zone. I am living now. I will...
tinkerhelll
One of the more inspiring TED talks I've watched.  Wish our country had more folks like this running things.
zane Smith
This guy is a true story teller
Delores Vickers
Today would be a good time to give that talk on National TV.
qwer
"We are more than the worst thing we've ever done...the moral arc of the universe is long but it bends towards justice. All of our survival is tied to the survival of everyone." This man is amazing, this TED talk is wonderful.
Emma-Inemesit Richardson
Wow. One of the best TED talks out there. I can't believe I'm only watching this now. I must read this man's book.
proelium555
I'm french and we haven't got the death sentence in France. This talk permit me to see that the injustice exist in the World and that's a problem. I've an exposed tommorow at school and i'll speak about this talk because it touched me. I'm sorry for my bad english, don't hesitate to correct me :) Thank's for reading.
Jonathan Michael
Thank you for posting this, TED.
hope dean
"We have a system of justice in this country that treats you better if you're rich and guilty than if you're poor and innocent" I watched 13th on Netflix (cannot highly recommend enough - Academy Award-nominated documentary with different viewpoints and connections that I didn't even know about) and Bryan Stevenson was one of the people interviewed for the documentary. He speaks so calmly and clearly and obviously has a good head for what's right. He really knew what he ws talking about.
KaySix
...is anyone else crying?
Farhana Jabbar
Outstanding! "United States is the only country in the world where we send 13 year old to jail to die" very disappointed. Shame on us.
John Byrne
his book was awesome
Francina Jones
i was listening to NPR on Monday night and he was being interviewed. I needed to know more about this young man. I know he has kept his eye on the prize. So empowering and thought provoking. 
An gela
An intern at my office suggested this TEDX...I heard him on NPR awhile ago (I THINK it was him) and LOVE his life journey - life work!
Jackson Douglas
using this video for a research paper on the death penalty and it helped a lot thanks
Terrible Person From Louisiana
its a shame how this has not gone viral given his extremely important message...
Big Dumb Bich
The real wealth state problem is that if you are poor, you cannot afford a very good lawyer frequently, and if you are rich then its the opposite.
Lucy L
He spoke today at my University and it was truly an amazing speech
Earl E. Butler Jr.
Phenomenal, that's all I can say about this video! Brian Stevenson is so on target. Society as a whole must fix the judicial system. It's bias, prejudice, and complete and utterly chaos, must end!
momandson cookingshow
I had not thought that Germany didn't have the death penalty and it is amazing that each generation that followed has remembered why they don't.
Kenz Nguyen
It's really inspiring of this talk. My respect, sir! Especially the "non-alcohol" thing.
Bilal Brown
One of my favourite TED talks. Exposing U.S. double standards.
emily
Do we have the right to kill? That was a really thought provoking question. I loved this!
Mmb Kush
he should run for president i would vote for him
Brian A
Stevenson 2016
Noel Elizabeth
I saw him speak at University of Michigan last night,it was incredible. laughed and cried all the way through.
RETiredGM
"We have a justice system in this country that treats you much better if you're rich and guilty than poor and innocent. Wealth, and not culpability, shapes outcomes. And yet we seem to be very comfortable". Bryan Stevenson
rana banana
An extremely inspirational, eloquent and beautiful speech.
Brendan Kim
The best lecture of my life. Inspires me every time I watch it.
avedic
Gah....what an amazing talk. His example about Germany...and what it would mean if they were executing people today...who were disproportionately Jewish....really struck a chord. If Germany was doing that, there would be outrage...and rightly so. There's so much I could say about this talk...but I hope most of you already know what I want to say, because you're thinking it too. Sadly, there's lots of excuse making and outright racism in the comments. That's YouTube for you. Oh well. I love how this talk was sans-Power Point and whatnot. It was just one man...speaking with eloquent passion to a crowd of transfixed people.
Anthony Spencer
How David Blaine gets over 7 millions views and this only gets under 500,000 is shocking. One of the best talks I have ever listen. Great stuff
CzarJuliusIII
How to sum up this video in a few words: This man is a true human being.
PhantomPianist91
Great talk, really enjoyed it!
Vicki Howe
Wow! This man will bring great change!
Majus Franz
i work in Berlin, germany in a ghetto district on a school with arabian, turkish and black childrean to give them a better live, and brian stevenson gives me also the view that i do the right thing and do more!!!
Slaughter
I wish he would run for president
Manuel Antunes
Inspiring intervention but I suspect it's not only in America that society accepts better a  rich guilty  than a poor innocent - it is global. At least, it is the same here in Portugal. Thank you for your words. I hope they reach many, many people around the world - I'm contributing with my little effort.
kayla francis
He deserves some sort of Noble Peace prize.. Just so inspiring.
Nikki Berry
This needs more views. I got teary-eyed near the end.
Aaditya Chandrasekhar
Most powerful Ted talk I have ever seen
M. Va'enuku
The Guard & the Chocolate Milkshake is what his work is all about. So grateful I stumbled across your book and your work. Inspiring! #JustMercy
Farheen Khan
Absolute favorite Ted Talk
Hail Mari
This has got to be my favorite Ted Talk!
Ring0fSaturn
Thank you, TED, for this post. Ryan Stevenson's talk is stunning and starkly relevant.
Edward Wu
This is a great speech, it is very deep subject, generally people only concern about salary and living status in a small circle, but more likely fundamental of society must be fair and respectful enough to sustain every small circle stays in a positive and balanced status. it has to focus on the main point like human society or circulation of global, not an occasion.
Barbara McGhee
I just spent the last 23:41 minutes with a lump in my throat.  I am moved. Being of mixed races and having a history of experiencing the brutality of our justice system, this was awe inspiring.  If we could ALL just ingest this talk and then act on it.
Teressa G
Preach it!
Dark Lord
I know this was made a while ago but I just finished reading "Just Mercy" and I realize now how stupid america is as a country and I'm so glad there's people like him in this world to make us better and who actually want to help people who need the help. Thank you to Bryan
C. F. Patterson
My son, who just happens to be incarcerated in the state of Wisconsin, brought me here. My ONLY child received a 25 year sentence, for PROVEN self defense, has spent 8 yrs in prison because the judge WOULD NOT address the questions that the jurors posed when asking for clarification on the charges, the prosecutor TOLD LIE after LIE instead of presenting the facts that led to my Son having to defend himself as well as the BLATANT tampering with evidence and witnesses. While in the process of obtaining our own EXPERIENCED criminal law attorney, the judge declared my Son as indigent and appointed an attorney that admitted to NEVER HAVING the experience of a criminal law case...AND the fact that this court appointed attorney was under criminal investigation for misconduct!! Oh I forgot to mention that because the trial took place about a week before Xmas that year, the case was "rushed" because the judge announced that "we need to wrap this up... It's almost Christmas and I have things to do." This statement is in the transcripts!!
Carla Marie Mills
I have so much Respect for this Man.
Ramen Shaman
I joined the ovation from my bedroom.
ytjhhh
Our Humanity depends on everyone's humanity. We have to embrace these challenges
Kate Lynch
brave, brave, brave.
lura garcia
love this guy! Just Mercy is amazing. read it in two days :)
Tovacorona
Mr. Stevenson speaks the truth. We all need to pay attention to the suffering and injustice happening in our justice/penal system. And I don't take offense at all at his comparison to what has happened to blacks in the U.S. and Jews in Germany. Yes, the Nazis were more systematic and efficient, but abusing and killing blacks for nothing more than being black and stepping outside of white, Jim Crow era sensibilities, was also either codified into law or the law deliberately looked the other way and refused to prosecute blatant murderers of blacks. We're talking into the 1960s, here. And I say this as a Jew. Our current penal system can easily be seen as a continuation of Jim Crow repression, particularly the disenfranchisement of huge percentages of black men. 
Elisha Jacobs
Awesome speaker! Had an opportunity to see him speak live today. Life changing
Jacob Cherian
Yes! Let justice roll on like a river, and righteousness, that exalts a nation, flow like a never-ending stream! Thanks, Bryan!
Sus Anna
Thank you for your fascinating teaching. Keep your eyes on the prize. Hold on.
Monica Elliott
I am taking Intro to Corrections and learning about many of these topics.  My major is psychology and I find your beliefs to be so powerful.  Thank you for sharing and helping our country fight injustices!!
CavePunk
This man is coming to speak at my university and I'm so excited! Loved his book
henry murray
I agree with everything he said.
Denilson Moreira
One of the most inspiring talks ever. Hold on. Who else is here because of "Talk Like TED"?
Zain Sheikh
One of the best TED talks I have every seen, good luck Bryan Stevenson!
Creative Sound Lab
Wow. 17:00 It's how we treat the poor which tells us the person we really are.
zette dl
Amazingly inspiring! One of the best ted talks indeed... Hats off to you Mr. Stevenson!
Nathaniel x Vance
Absolutely amazing and so love fill! Excellent! So compassionate!
Dawn Stewart-Walker
Appreciate his work bringing injustice to light. His book is excellent.
Artz Grl
Thank you for words of encouragement. It's much needed I always try to be considerate,kind, non-judgemental. Only to feel judged and excluded on a basic human level daily. Not always but over the last 25yrs I moved from NYC to upstate NY and have dealt with a feeling of dissapointment and discouragment on a basic human level. Thank you so much. God Bless you
Sheya J
I've watched this talk so many times
boipelo polite
He's so amazing and intelligent... Love him ❤️
Michelle Kalski
Just finished his book, "Just Mercy". Overflowing with respect for him. Compassionate, brilliant and unwavering in his work to help the most vulnerable among us.
Originalbrownsugar
Amazing talk !!! Amazing man !
ASK JDOG
One of the better TED talks!!
Carlos E. Cárdenas
You're an incredible man !!!
Mo Lynn
Very informative and persuasive! Actual facts were given throughout this speech. Keep your eye on the prize and hold on!
Arkita James
Riveting, this man is masterful in speech. Thought provoking!
Silent Observer
Thank you Mr. Stevenson! <3
Jay Olson
Policies he mentioned are awesome!
Magalys Oro
This was so good. I found out about him through Anthony Ray Hinton's case. Now I need to check out his book.
Andriv Productions
what a powerful speech.
Loren Legalhair
I read Mr. Hinson’s book “The Sun Dies Shine,” and I was so inspired by Mr. Stevenson I had to read his boon “Just Mercy.” Your grandmother was right, you are special. God bless you and thank you for your dedication.
MuzikGC
I liked what he was talking about. please keep these videos going.
valeray_val
amazing talk! I can't believe it doesn't have millions of views!
darren motise
Read his book, "Just Mercy." It will blow your mind.