She Rocks Special: Discussing George Floyd, Police Brutality, and Racism

Today, we’ll be diving deep into the whole situation that’s been going on in America. So first up, let me introduce my GRITS sisters starting with:
Hi, I’m Jonaiyah.
I am Arabia.
Hello, I’m Kam.
Hi, I’m Naiya
I’m Brealyn.
And these are our GRITS sisters for tonight to give you guys the tea and what’s happening.
So first up, we’re going to start off with Kam to educate  us about how this was all started historically.
Okay. So as we all know, there has been a lot of protesting, a lot of on peace in America, um, cause of George Floyd, um, a man who was killed by a white police officer. And what most people are saying around now is history is repeating itself here in Wilmington.
Uh, there was a race riot. And it was originally described – but it was caused by blacks, but however more facts came that it was actually white supremacists. So I think it’s just history repeating itself over again. And. We just need to know our history. So this can all come to an end.
Um, I do agree with you, Kam. And I also want to add about the George, um, Floyd situation. Um, today actually they reviewed the case and they’re charging the man who killed George Ford with second degree murder. And for the other three officers that were with them, they basically counted them as accomplices. And I think they got charged with something else, but I can’t pronounce it.
Um, but they’re also being accounted for, but I think, I feel like personally, it should be counted as a first degree murder because, you know, I mean, you knew that something was wrong and I know that like, police officers are trained to like, you know, put like people – like they put people in handcuffs down a certain way, or like put their knee on them.
But it’s only just to get them down and after they have them in handcuffs, you’re supposed to take, you’re supposed to get off with them and then just put them in a car or whatever, but he didn’t do that. And I feel like if you’re a police officer and if you’re hurting the person and like he’s saying he can’t breathe, he needs to like, kind of get off.
And it’s just like the other police officers are just standing there and like, they know it’s happening. Like they should have stood up and said something and for them not doing that, they’re just – that badge is supposed to mean something to protect all people, you know, like they’re just wrong for that because they should have stepped in.
Okay. So as we all know, let’s talk about this race war, race riot, protesting, this disaster. I’m not gonna say disaster, but like there’s this thing that is, that we need to be known. Um, let’s just talk about black men in America and injustice that has been happening to us. Not black men, just black people period. And, um, police brutality.
Uh, People are getting sick and tired. This needs to be known. This needs to be heard. It cannot be ignored anymore. So if we’ve been trying to fight this for years and it’s not been heard, but now that we’re doing stuff, that we’re getting violent, we’re getting heard. And I don’t think that should be the right solution to it, but it’s the only way to get heard. And what do you guys speak on this?
Definitely agree with what you’re saying, cam and how this has just like, honestly, like really getting out of control, but with all of this out of control-ness, I just want to like educate a little bit on the differences between what’s happening out there.
For example, there’s a difference between black lives matter and all lives matter. First of all, all lives do matter. However, if all lives matter, you have to focus on one life before you focus on all lives. If you see one life is being oppressed – think about it like this: if there is a house burning down and all the other houses are fine. And everyone’s running towards the burning house to save it. And someone comes out of their perfectly fine house and they say, “But what about my house?”
And then you’re looking at the burning house and you’re like, “What do you mean about your house? Your house is perfectly fine. We are trying to help and fix the house that is burning down.”
And then, and people still don’t get it through their head. And they’re like, what about it? What about my house? Why can’t you check on my house? Because there’s nothing wrong with your house. When there is something wrong with your house, then we will check on it. Then we will make a movement about it. Then we will protest about it.
But for right now, right here in this day and time, it is black lives matter. And that’s what you need to focus on. All lives do matter, but for right now, black lives matter. So as you can save this life, how are you going to save all lives? Answer me that; answer me. I’m waiting.
That’s a, that’s a perfectly good analogy because you wouldn’t fix a house that’s perfectly fine.
That’s what I’m saying. We need to fix the houses that are not fine, that are burning, that are broken. I can’t explain it.
It’s almost like they try to take away from the fact, like what’s the motive behind the actual movement, because even though all lives, all lives do matter. Yes. But it’s like, we’re not all equal and we’re not like all in the same loop and have the same justices and privileges. So it’s not, so it’s like technically all actually really don’t matter because they’re still discriminating against certain ones. So you can’t even really, so it’s kind of like technically, you can’t even really say that all lives matter because technically it really doesn’t. And you know, you can see that all throughout history.
And I hate to be really blunt about this and I mean, no offense, but in America, the only life that truly matters to people is white lives. And that is terrible because we live in a world where there’s so much diversity and so much culture yet people are just so biggoted and ignorant, and they just won’t break out beyond their shell to see that there is so much more out there than just their close gated minds and communities. But I also want to touch on – out there, there has been a lot of protesting and riots and everything, and some of them are peaceful. Yes.
And some of them have gotten out of control by a long shot. I’m going to tell you the difference between a protester and a rioter. Cause there is, there’s a huge, difference. A protester – they are there for the cause they are there not to start a riot, not to they’re there to just really just let, like they want their voices to be heard.
They are the ones that are just peacefully just trying to be there and just stand there and just be a part of the movement. Rioters. See the name rioters don’t they, it doesn’t sound right. It sounds like they have bad and malicious intent. Which they do, because those are the people that are burning down places, looting places, stealing things, breaking things, breaking things that are even a part of the African American community.
And then just being like, “Oh, well I thought we were just in the moment.” Like, no, The rest of us are trying to meet in the moment. Cause I don’t know what calls you are trying to protest if that’s even the word, but there is a difference. Rioters out there to start bad things. They are there to mess up things.
Just, just be very malicious and they’re not even really caring about the whole purpose of what the protesters are doing to try to make a difference.
It’s like some people are there for the wrong reasons at times but some people use it as a publicity stunt. And, um, for example, like there was like a controversial, I think today and yesterday it was a picture of, of our president, Donald Trump.
And he was like in front of like an Episcopal church. And he, I think they said he had used tear gas to, like, I guess clear the clouds or some- clear the clouds. Clear the crowd so that he could take the picture. And he held the Bible in his hand – was like holding it up. And, you know, he was just kind of there take the picture and just kind of left.
It’s like, he’s trying to put on this front, like they really care, but he, but like, you know, deep down they really don’t and it’s like his actions speak louder than words. So like, you really don’t care. So I feel like people only use it like as a pawn or something kind of gains up their return for themselves.
And they really don’t support. Like, you know, people are dying every day. Like it’s a really serious issue and people don’t understand that, you know. Like, people love to like take from the culture and like, do this, that. They don’t want to, they don’t want to go through the struggle. They don’t want to experience that.
They’re going to take bits and pieces from it and, you know, try to make it sound like it’s their own, because I think quite honest, I think Caucasians or white people, sometimes they really don’t have a culture to come from if you really think about it like. You know, I think like, like when you’re having to talk about race and you have to like, put like, Oh, like, Oh, I’m African American, or like I’m Hispanic or dah, dah, dah, but like you know, you just have caucasian, but you know, like really technically, we get down to DNA.
They’re mixed with a lot of things, even black. But, you know, they don’t want to admit that. And that’s the being it’s like, they’re not really, you know, why they’re messing with a lot of different things, you know? And I think it’s that, you know, they want to stay superior towards everybody else. When they come, when they came over, you know, taking the lands and stuff.
Even when we came to this country, we still didn’t have enough rights or we’re on the same level as them. So they treat us as if we were beneath them. You know, and the same thing for Native Americans. They took their lands to try to claim it as their own. You know, you can’t take something where there was already people there and try to claim it as your own, you know.
Just to butt in really quick.
Naiya, I am – I a hundred percent agree on what you’re saying and also, I was just thinking like, where would the world just like, where would it. Since, I guess white people have a sense of authority that they think that it was them that came up with everything. Even back in the day, we were coming up with inventions that no one talks about and no one gives us credit to that we made, that we help when it comes to innovations, when it comes to music, when it comes to art.
They whitewashed a lot of things. And like an example, like, you know, like how, um, I’m trying to think. Okay. So there’s this queen in Africa, right? Her name is Queen Makeda. So she has really a dark skinned, like the dark skin, warm or a darker complexion.
Right. But over time, as different images are painted for her, she got lighter and lighter and lighter. So she became like a fully white woman. And so it was kinda like. You can’t go from like dark to light. You know, they try to whitewash everything to make it seem like they’re trying to rip our culture away from us.
You know, same thing with like Egyptian pyramids. They’re black, but you know, they don’t want to admit that, you know, when you see pictures of Cleopatra, she’s also portrayed as a white woman, but really she’s was a darker complexion, had melanin in her, and you can see that painted all throughout the heiroglyphics, but they don’t want to say that. You know.
Can I say somethin? You know, the Catholics, um, the, the priest. I think, uh, the priests.
The Pope.
Yes, the Pope, he goes and he prays to a black Mary and a black baby. You can look it up.
The Bible, it describes him as a black man, but they don’t want to do that. And like the Israelites they’re black honey, they’re black.
But adding on to what we were saying about the riots and stuff. When the riots first started, I kind of understood where they were coming from. But when they started getting out of hand, like looting stores that had nothing to do with it, or like, like just going into stuff and burning it down, I just didn’t get it after a while and stuff.
And they were like, some people. I saw this video today. And there was some people who were rioting and they went on like this train and they like were on the train and they still like, like, I think the train was full of like TVs and stuff and people on there just looting it and everything like on the train and all that have y’all seen that video? I don’t know. They’re just kind of, I think now they’re just trying to take it for other things now.
There’s three people in this type of situation. There’s the looters who just, I feel who care about the situation. And they’re just very mad about it, but they take it out in a wrong way. There’s the people who don’t even know what they’re doing.
They don’t even know what they’re doing. They just want to be outside. Yeah. Everywhere. And a part of the looters is there’s some people who aren’t even black or who aren’t even, who don’t even support the cause. There there’s been speculation how there has been white people actually disguising themselves as us and making us seem violent and cruel and trying to make us fit the stereotype.
And there’s like white people who are so violent and the black people who are actually getting affected or like do quit. They’re going to come for us before they come for you. So it’s hurting us on both ends.
In a way when you think about it, it seems like it’s a lose, lose situation. If we don’t say anything, we’re still getting blamed for it.
If we do say something we’re getting blamed for it. If we fight for our rights are getting blamed for it. It’s just like, it’s really sad. Cause it seems like we can’t do anything in that we’re just trapped. And I feel like that’s what we’re trying to show people that we don’t want to be trapped anymore.
We want to make our voices heard. We want everyone to know like how much we are being oppressed. And I definitely agree. Arabia, Jonaiyah – What do you guys think?
Oh, I think that it is well – one, I was a protester myself in Wilmington, North Carolina. And when I went um, when was it Saturday, Saturday? Um, it was kind of odd because, um, the crazy thing was, was that it’s mostly about the black lives right now, but it kinda felt like when I was protesting it wasn’t really black, like black people out there.
But there was like more white people. So basically to me, it was like, not all, white are cruel in me as you might think, but yeah, there’s supporters out there that are white, and they are not as bad people as you think they are.
So I just came back from a protest and it was like mostly white people there, but they had really great points and stuff, like what cam was saying about, about, um, chanting and stuff.
Also, um, just the disclaimer. I just wanted to say that we are not bashing anyone in particular. We are not bashing whites. We’re not bashing blacks. We’re not bashing anybody. It’s.
Just hard to talk about, but it has to be talked about, even though we kind of have to get uncomfortable to talk about the uncomfortable things.
Well, no, let me rephrase them. You have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. That’s it.
Exactly. Also to build off of Naya sometimes. Like how, um, Jonaiyah was saying how not all white people are bad. It’s same thing as saying how not all black people are thugs. Not all cops are bad and just, and it just, and it just keeps on going on.
It’s the people. People choose the life that they want for themselves. It doesn’t matter what skin color you are or anything. You choose what you want to do in life. It all depends on what you choose to do in life and what path you choose to follow. It doesn’t – like to me, when it comes down to it, I personally feel like with the whole race thing that it’s not even just like a whole race. It’s just particular people in that race that just ruin it for everybody else. And I just feel like that needs to be said, like. Especially with stereotypes, how you see one or two people that act like that. And then you just assume that everyone else is like that. When they see one black, when they see one black man steal, they think all of us – they think all the men steal. They think all of them are thugs.
They think all of them sell drugs and that’s not even the case. And it’s sad that like, people just, they don’t understand that. You guys know what I’m saying?
There are some people, like I know, like with certain families, I know like one part of my family, like they’re like, like back in the day, like when my grandfather was young and all that, and you know, they had segregation.
Some of my cousins could pass for white. Like they’re were like that life with like. They were just black, you know, but they kind of came off as like, ” Oh yeah, I’m white.” And so they’re kind of no more darker tone of the rest of us. They don’t keep in contact with us no more. So it’s kind of like, they try to forget like their actual culture or the roots to try to pass on is one way.
So they think that they’ll get accepted more into, um, society and society standards.
But even though in the midst of all this bad, there is still a lot of good going on that the media doesn’t particularly show. It doesn’t show all the peaceful protests. It doesn’t show the cops are walking with the protesters.
It just doesn’t show all the good things. But the fact that we know that there are still some good people out there. That’s what’s important. Those people will be making the change and will be, and we’ll be helping the revolution because we are going to change and we are not going to stand for it. So with that said, we will now be moving on tonight to read her poem.
This poem is called it’s time to take a stand. And I want people to realize it’s to really think about it and get it deep in your thoughts and really listen to it.
It’s time to take a stand. We’re taking a stand. I’m taking a stand.Racism is a social and institutional power plus prejudice.
Therefore racism is a system of advantage based on race.
Therefore, racism is a system of oppression based on race.
Therefore, racism is a system of white supremacy that creates a cross class collaboration called white.
Therefore racism is used to break up unity among ethnicities.
Society tells me my melanin is too much to be loved. And I hair is unkept. Out of dress code, and unprofessional. Police my box braids, cornrows, dreadlocks, and high puffs. Somehow my hair has seeped into my brain and prevented me from succeeding in school. The prejudices that keep us from being accepted in society are reinforced through institutional systems and embedded in social norms.
When I was a little girl, my grandma told me your chocolate skin is beautiful in every way. Can’t nobody take that away from you.
Yeah. I didn’t know that the love she instilled in me would give me the resiliency to function in a society that tells us something different. The power of socialization influences the perception of beauty.
Beauty status aren’t spoken, but well understood. The government interactions, opportunities and freedom.
Straightened hair, light skin, small lips, slight curves. Just enough, but not too much.
While you make power invisible, racism continues to survive.
The social security act provided a monetary cushion for any citizen in America excluding domestic and agricultural workers.
My grandmother stood as a housekeeper for 16 years. Denied.
My father was a landscaper who mowed lawns. Denied.
The federal housing act gave them the opportunity to own a home for close to nothing. My grandparents were not accepted into Levittown. The GI bill allowed veterans to come back to America with hopes of living American dream. My grandfather, a decorated veteran who was denied acceptance into college, denied a mortgage  loan and denied access into many public places upon his return.
In order to have an advantage. Someone needs to have a disadvantage. Manifest destiny provide that the Anglo Saxon man was fordained by God to rule the world. Therefore, my people were ordained by God to be ruled, but when poor people of mixed races united against Jamestown, manifest destiny was expanded to other races that were once denied: Italians, Greeks, Irish, Catholics, and Jews were among the last to be considered white.
Racism operates off of confusion. A lot of people are opinionated about the topic, but not informed. It’s time for our youth to take a stand. We are the future and we must make it a priority to change the world and make it a better place for all.
Because if we can kneel, why can’t we do it for Emmett Till? If we have the time to kill, why can’t we repeal?
It’s time to take a stand.
Naiya. That was such a beautiful poem. And I just want to say great job. And we are all applauding you right now and just can we- we all real snapping, like we were really snapping for you. I was just, we snapping. That was beautiful. That was well-spoken.
That was really powerful.
So now I just wanted to keep on with like the positivity and the heartwarming and, before we log off this. I just want to leave you guys with. Two positive things to just keep you going, because that’s all you need. You just need something to motivate you and keep you going every day. I’m going to start off first and I’m going to be, I’m just going to say that, even though it’s a dark tunnel, there’s still a light ahead.
So just keep on pushing and keep going until you reached that light. And my second one, I know it’s kind of basic, but it’s important. Don’t give up. Don’t let anyone tell you to give up. And don’t like succumb under pressure because you are powerful. Everyone is, and you just need to just not give up. Please just stand for what you believe in.
Um, closing off, I want to say, never hold back your opinions and your thoughts. Always speak up and speak your mind. It’s very important. And you know, I’m going to say this – a closed mouth, you know, never gets fed. It’s okay to speak up, even though it may be hard and people may not like it. It’s the truth. And the truth will set you free.
My closing words of encouragement is nobody can live your life. You live your life; you live the way you want to. Um, don’t let anyone tell you different. Um, from my experience I’ve always ran with the crowd, but I feel more comfortable saying what I have to say. My opinion. Don’t let anyone change your opinion because in the long run, you’ll feel very bad about it. You won’t feel yourself, you just feel in a box. So. As much as society wants you to be in that box, you have to break through; you have to persevere. You need resilience. So I just wanted to say that.
And, um, me closing out, I wanted to say, um, don’t be afraid to be yourself or be who you are. And yeah, like, don’t judge people for who they are also.
Um, my quote is you get what you work for, not what you wish for. As in, you actually have to work for something. You don’t just make a wish and think it’s going to come true. You actually have to put in hard work to deserve it.
And mine is to always remember that you are a smart, beautiful young lady or men, boy, whatever you may be. And to always love yourself. Always use your words. Stay strong matter what.
And with that,  this is Amari signing off.
This is Naiya signing off.
This is Jonaiyah signing off.
This is Breaylin signing off.
This is Kam signing off.
This is Arabia signing off.
And thank you all for joining us tonight. Today, whenever you’re hearing this, we’ll see you guys next time.

Produced by GRITS. Edited by Brandon “Bigg B” Hickman. Hosted by Amari Poindexter, Naiya Graham, Brealyn Freeman, Arabia Earth and Kamahra Nixon-McKoy. Poem by Kylah Laurent, Naiya Graham, and Shecoria Smith.

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