South Central, Los Angeles–On this episode of Slauson Girl Speaks, me and my guest discuss the protest that erupted in South Central after Los Angeles Sheriff’s killed 29-year-old Dijon Kizzee on 109th and Budlong in South Central.
One of my guest is Tara Perry, a community organizer and recent candidate for Los Angeles City Council, as well as Corey who is originally from Florida now living in OC.
As a native of South Central it was interesting to see majority of the people who showed up to protest when Kizzee was killed were not from the community. They were alerted of this recent act of state sanctioned violence through a tweet from Black Lives matter Los Angeles.
There is nothing wrong with that. Their presence is important to show the discontent of people in general, over police continuing to kill residents and citizens.
My concern came from the four to five nights of unrest that happened outside the Sheriff’s station on Imperial near Normandie. Groups of mostly non-Black people traveled to South Central nightly, armed with helmets, shields and other materials they felt were needed to protect them from the Sheriff’s aggression.
Videos shared to social media showed serious civil unrest, with helicopters and smoke from projectiles flying around.
This was during not only a global pandemic, but a weekday in a low-income Black and Brown community. I was upset that random pages on Instagram were sharing fliers asking for people to show up and requesting donations for materials.
There was no mention of Black groups or organizations in general, that were organizing these protest and actions. Kizzee’s death coincided with continued protest in Los Angeles over police brutality inspired by the death of George Floyd.
I shared to social media my sentiments with these protestors that the Sheriff’s had labeled “outside agitators.” Photos released of protesters arrested in South Central showed mostly white men and women dressed in all Black.
I appreciate true allies who know their role in Black’s struggle for liberation. However, there is a sense of delicacy that white folks must approach the issues with, as well as a level of education and research that must be done.
What I saw was a lot of co-opting spaces and people attempting to gain social media clout for engaging in a struggle for a week that Black’s continue to be trapped in.
Someone even printed up stickers, saying they “survived the week of terror.”
The police shot and killed several people in Los Angeles a few weeks later. We need to change the policy that allows police the opportunity to kill citizens over “fear of their safety” or we will continue to run this hamster wheel.
Despite my personal feelings, I felt it as important to provide space as a journalist for these folks who came to South Central to protest, to share their thoughts.
My guest was chosen based on his willingness to listen to my perspective and attempt to understand, vs being defensive and gaslighting. I also sensed his intentions to be genuine based off conversations we had. All I ask is that non-Black allies refer to Black leadership.
Listen to the full episode here: https://radiopublic.com/slauson-girl-speaks-WzXMx4
Slauson Girl can be found on all streaming networks where podcast are found including Apple Podcast and Spotify. Slauson Girl can be found on all streaming networks where podcast are found including Apple Podcast and Spotify.