Podcast & Op-Ed by Podcast Host Mikey D, May 8th, 2020
This special op-ed podcast is hosted by Mikey D where he discusses the sentiment on how many black mothers are feeling in America about losing their black sons and daughters in America. The featured video highlights a post by singer, songwriter, and actress Stephanie Mills (click name to hear music). The segment is dedicated to the many mothers who will not have the opportunity to celebrate Mother’s Day with their babies due to the injustices that exist in America today.
The featured music “Gimmie Peace” is by R&B/Christian artist Shantel Hampton (Hampton & Traylor, 2017). Shantel was raised on the eastside of Detroit, and is one out of seven children, by her parents, Luther Hampton Jr. and soul singer Carla Cooke-Hampton (Carla is the youngest daughter of the legendary Sam Cooke). She graduated from Cherry Hill Performing Arts High School where she was trained in vocals, drama, and dance. To listen and purchase artists music click their names above.
We are sick and tired of seeing and hearing our black men being shot downSinger/Songwriter/acteres Stephanie Mills, May 7th, 2020
In a recent Instagram video posted by singer, songwriter, and actress Stephanie Mills expressing herself about the recently released video showing Ahmaud Arbery, 25, being murdered on February 23, 2020 while jogging in Brunswick, Georgia. The two white suspects Gregory McMichael, 64 and Travis McMichael, 34 have been arrested and charged with murder. Both men claimed he was a suspected burglar and says they were attempting to “make a citizen’s arrest” according to a New York Times report (Fausset, 2020, para. 18).
In the video, Ms. Mills makes an emotionalaly charged statement and says, “We are sick and tired of seeing and hearing our black men being shot down” (Mills, 2020, Video 00:10). From my perspective this sentiment is not new to me as I have felt, and heard this statement from black mothers all my life.
As I do my due diligence to research the facts, it angers me to see many comments stating that Ahmaud’ mother, Ms. Wanda Cooper, and others in the black community are accused of playing the victim roll whenever a black man is gunned down for no reason. The truth be told, Ms. Mills statement is far from playing the victim as some have applied.
In a 2017 CNN.com article called Study: Black people more likely to be wrongfully convicted, the author Tanzina Vega, discusses a study that highlights the disparity black men in America face when it comes to convictions compared to whites (Fausset, 2020). In the same report Vega states, “murder cases where a black defendant was wrongfully convicted were 22% more likely to involve police misconduct than those involving white defendants” (Fausset, 2020, para. 10). While the research is as recent as 2017 the fact has been consistent for far to many years in our society.
While this is just one of many facts that can be researched on the internet and in articles, what is a fact is black mother’s and black families in America are in tears, they are frustrated, and they are angry on the injustice black men and the black community are experiencing.
The question remains, is it okay under the current government systems to convict black men through murder by civilians? In all accounts, the answer is an astounding yes!
As I conclude this op-ed I quote social activist, poet, and novelist Langston Hughes in his book Langston Hughes and the Chicago defender (Hughes, 1948). In his book he states:
“If I were white I would not have the nerve to loudly proclaim myself 100% American and a noble champion of democracy in a town where a Negro child cannot use a public swimming pool on a hot day or eat a dish of ice cream in a downtown confectionery. I would not red-bait a great Negro singer, and at the same time race-hate a small black boy or girl. I would be ashamed to do that, if I were white. I certainly would be ashamed” (Hughes, 1948, p. 108). While Langston Hughes work was decades ago, the feeling and sentiments were just relevant then as they are today. Are black Americans, like the black man or woman of the past who could not use the public swimming pools jog in our streets today? I welcome your comments below or on our Facebook page.
Fausset, R. (2020, May 5). Ahmaud Arbery’s Killing Will Go to Grand Jury as Graphic Video Emerges. New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/05/us/ahmaud-arbery-killing-georgia.html
Mills, S. [iamstephaniemills]. (2020, May 7). I’m Angry!!! About our young black men being shot and killed. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.instagram.com/tv/B_5uTPVHRSo/?igshid=igktuns195 Vega, T. (2017, March 7).
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