The former Women’s March co-chair said Black America was in a “state of emergency” at the Friday demonstration, where she was joined by community leaders including Jamie Foxx, Floyd’s close friend, former NBA star Stephen Jackson, and others.
“This is a coordinated activity happening across this nation, and so we are in a state of emergency. Black people are dying in a state of emergency,” said Mallory, 39, who formerly worked with Al Sharpton‘s National Action Network in New York City.
Mallory addressed the burning of buildings and looting of businesses in Minneapolis during a week of high-pitched protests in the city and others throughout the country, in which demonstrators took to the streets to speak out against a history of racial violence in the United States.
“We cannot look at this as an isolated incident. The reason buildings are burning are not just for our brother George Floyd,” she said. “They’re burning down because people here in Minnesota are saying to people in New York, to people in California, to people in Memphis, to people across this nation, enough is enough.”
“We are not responsible for the mental illness that has been afflicted upon our people by the American government, institutions, and those people who are in positions of power.
“America has looted black people. America looted the Native Americans when they first came here, looting is what you do. We learned it from you. We learned violence from you. If you want us to do better, then damnit, you do better.” —Tamika Mallory, Nat. Co-Chair of Women’s March“I don’t give a damn if they burn down,” Mallory added. “I don’t give a damn if they burn down Target, because Target should be on the streets with us, calling for the justice that our people deserve. Where was AutoZone at the time when Philando Castile was shot in a car, which is what they actually represent?”
Referring to law enforcement officers who are paid by U.S. citizens’ tax dollars, Mallory argued that companies and individuals who are silent against the brutality of Black Americans are just as responsible for the violence happening on the streets.
“So if you are not coming to the people’s defense then do not challenge us when young people and other people who are frustrated and instigated by the people you pay. You are paying instigators to be among our people out there throwing rocks, breaking windows and burning down buildings,” she said.
“And so young people are responding to that. They are enraged. And there’s an easy way to stop it. Arrest the cops. Charge the cops. Charge all the cops. Not just some of them. Not just here in Minneapolis. Charge them in every city across America where our people are being murdered.”
Mallory demanded that elected officials and leaders to do their jobs to ensure that America is the free country it espouses to be for all Americans and not just an exclusive few.
“It has not been free for Black people and we are tired. Don’t talk to us about looting. Ya’ll are the looters!” Mallory shouted.
“America has looted Black people! America looted the Native Americans when they first came here, so looting is what you do. We learned it from you.
“We learned violence from you! So if you want us to do better, then damn it, you do better!”
Video of Mallory’s speech has been widely shared online and has garnered more than 3 million views on Twitter alone.
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