A Roundtable Discussion About Being Black And An Immigrant In The U.S. Right Now
Speaker 1: 00:00 The black immigrant community in San Diego has been under intense stress over these last few weeks. As protests continue over the abuse of black people by police, the flagging economy has led the white house to propose even further restrictions on immigration KPBS, reporter max Rivlin, Nadler hosted a virtual round table with three black men from immigrant communities. To hear their thoughts on this trying time. Speaker 2: 00:29 [inaudible] Speaker 3: 00:29 we connected through zoom Speaker 4: 00:31 to drink Merola refugee advocates and community organizer, activist Speaker 5: 00:38 Mohammed OBD-II program coordinator at United women of East Africa. Speaker 3: 00:43 We asked these three about what was different or not different about the video of George Floyd's death from other acts of police brutality and why it led to such widespread protests. Speaker 4: 00:52 For me, it felt like a oblique execution. You know, it's really humanizing in a way that it shows how much you are, nothing you are less, you can do nothing. You know, I think, uh, black folks in this country are tired of, uh, being told how to go about, uh, dismantling their own oppression. And I think this is where it's, this was their way of, uh, letting America know enough is enough Speaker 5: 01:17 officer's demeanor when he had that knee on, um, on, um, on the gentleman's neck. It was, you know, like he just did not care. It was so nonchalant. He had his hands in his pockets. Like, I feel like that just outraged. So many people, it just sent the message that this man's life doesn't even matter. Speaker 3: 01:36 We asked about the demands of protesters this week. Speaker 4: 01:39 Police brutality got to stop. People are so tired in 21st century to be treated it that way, but also reforms need to be policy reform needs to be put in place so that at least we can have a country that respect to human rights. You know, for me, that's beyond, uh, uh, just police brutality. That's a human rights violation, but we want to see the defunding of police departments. Um, it is ridiculous that, um, during this climate of our country, um, mayors like San Diego is Marriott. Kevin Falkirk fucking her or asking the city council to increase the budget by 20 plus million dollars for San Diego police department. Um, it is just utterly crazy and ridiculous that we're spending more on policing than anything else in the city. Speaker 5: 02:23 We have law enforcement always come into our communities saying that, you know, they want to build connection. They want to build bridges. Well, how, how, how can law enforcement possibly do that? Speaker 3: 02:32 We asked about the duality of being both black and America and an immigrant. Speaker 4: 02:36 This is the issue of skin color. So before even a police, uh, uh, he is my accent or knows where I'm from. He sees my collar. And once this is my color, I'm profiled once this is my color I'm targeted. And that's the problem of the day today. A struggle of African immigrants, even refugees are living in this country. And this is really as double Speaker 5: 03:00 a part annoying and a big part of noise and scanners and hopelessness. Speaker 4: 03:05 My mom said it best like when she was living, um, you know, back in Somalia, like she didn't have to worry about, um, you know, my, her, her brothers or her cousins leaving the house, um, and have to think about their death, uh, or then possibly dying. Even though they were living during a time where people were being senselessly murdered, for whatever reason. Um, but today, uh, everyday I leave the house every day. My brothers leave the house everyday. My dad leaves the house and we have to say, we love each other. We have to say, this might be our last goodbye. Speaker 5: 03:32 Our community members come to America to seek a better life, but then they're being killed or they're watching other members or people they know be killed. That also leads them to not contact the law enforcement. They're not going to trust law enforcement. If crimes are being done to them in the community, those crimes will just continue because if they call on enforcement, there's that thought in the back of their mind that they might be killed calling law enforcement in our communities could lead to a death of a family member or the death of ourselves. Speaker 3: 04:05 We asked about how white people can support immigrant and blacks Speaker 5: 04:08 communities. What I've been telling people or white folks to do is speak about it. No, it doesn't, it doesn't cost anything to say, this is wrong. Justice needs to be done. Of course, something on social media that shows that this is wrong and making sure that your voice is hard because, uh, some people in the workforce, in the white folks, sometimes they try to be quiet or neutral. A lot of people trying to be the intro because they want to be part of it. For me, that's just like a slap in the face, because if you need to, that means you're still, I guess me, because you can say anything going on this entire time, all we've been doing was having, you know, dialogue, um, with not action behind it. People need to actually come and confront these biases, confront racism. Speaker 4: 04:54 They should, uh, be on the front lines. They should be the people in the front who are locking them arms up and protecting, uh, the, uh, black and other POC, uh, protests are there. If you cannot attend a protest, that's fine. If you can not financially contribute, that's fine. Um, but what you can do for the movement is read a book. You can read an article, you can have discussions with your family members. Speaker 3: 05:14 And we asked them about the work they're doing and their community. Speaker 5: 05:17 We also provide a space where, you know, young men could come, they could, um, seek peer to peer support, even drop in support. Um, we know where they can build community. You know, it's one thing that there are black students are being expelled at much higher rates, but they're also the victims of, um, you know, they're being gagged. You know, essentially they can't talk about their oppression. They can't voice, um, the harms that are being done to them. They're not allowed to express any of this stuff without the threat of being removed from the, uh, education setting Speaker 3: 05:46 that was Muhammad OBD-II program coordinator of United women of East Africa. We also spoke with Cedric marula, a refugee advocate, a community organizer and student activists of Modbar mood Speaker 1: 05:58 to learn more about the organizations these young men work with. You can visit kpbs.org. Speaker 6: 06:09 [inaudible].