While the protests rage for the 13th time in a row about the repeated and habitual killing of blacks by the police, BET unleashes this historic moment on Sunday (June 7) with a town hall at prime time about social justice.
Justice Now: A BET City Hall, hosted by Marc Lamont Hill, brought together a diverse panel, from politicians and scientists to scientists, to investigate this topical issue. Guests include Stacey Abrams, former Democratic leader of Georgia House, President of Color of Change, Rashad Robinson, and Imani Perry, Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University.
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Abrams opened the discussion with the remark that she was not surprised by the police murder of George Floyd after seeing case-by-case unarmed blacks killed by law enforcement officials.
"I wasn't surprised, but my god. I'm sad and stay angry with everyone else," she said.
Floyd was the catalyst for this uprising, which is taking place in all countries for several reasons, Abrams said. His murder followed Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. The video, which shows the brutal murder of Floyd, was also shot against the backdrop of a pandemic in which a disproportionate number of blacks were killed, who also do important work at the forefront.
"People have enough," she added. "More will come if we don't stop today."
She unloaded President Donald Trump, who called for a military response to the protest. "He's a coward and a bully who uses a strong man's tactics," added Abrams, who is on Joe Biden's shortlist for his vice president.
The uprising against racist policing has attracted a large number of demonstrators across the country. Historically, however, the whites have remained silent, despite recognizing the injustice towards the blacks.
"White people choose not to know certain things," said Brittney Cooper, a professor at Rutgers University.
She added that white people are largely satisfied with their power. They don't know how the system works. Rather, you choose not to interfere. "You always have a choice of being the type of white you want to be," Cooper continued.
The panel dealt with the challenging question of how to design an agenda for change.
Rashad Robinson, President of Color of Change, insisted that we "have to put our money where our mouth is".
He supports the movement to devalue police departments. Robinson found that police budgets have increased over the decades, while lawmakers have no hesitation in cutting funding for things like education and health care in needy communities.
"We are dealing with power issues," he said, adding that police unions stand in the way of change.
He noted that police union officials always act as if they are unaware of abuse when discussing reforms.
Over the centuries, the trauma of being black in America has been passed down from generation to generation. But through this struggle, Professor Imani Perry of Princeton University said that the blacks developed a resilient mind to pass on to parents to their children, which teaches them not to accept white supremacy.
Former New York police officer Corey Pegues added that black parents should not "gloss over" the realities of racism in America. "I want you to see everything," he added.
Pegues believes that black parents must teach their children how to deal with the racist people they will encounter in life. He complained that the blacks are the only group in the nation that has to teach their children what to do if they are stopped by the police.
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