These Influential Mothers Are Speaking Out Against Police Brutality and the Dallas Attack
Influential mothers are speaking out after the fatal shootings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling by police officers left thousands protesting throughout the country and prompted state and federal investigations.
In a heartbreaking speech to the press, Quinyetta McMillon, the mother of Sterling’s eldest child, fought back tears while explaining the new obstacle she is forced to wrestle with.
"As a Mother I have now been forced to raise a son who is going to remember what happened to his Father that I can't take away from him," she said. "I hurt more for him and his loss. As a parent one of the greatest fears is to see your child hurt and know there is nothing you can do about it."
The mothers of victims of police violence are often left to tell the stories of their sons and daughters. Lezley McSpadden, the mother of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager who was shot and killed by an officer in, detailed her journey in her book, "Tell the Truth & Shame the Devil: The Life, Legacy, and Love of My Son Michael Brown."
Most recently she authored an op-ed in The New York Times in response to this month's devastating shootings.
"When their children are killed, mothers are expected to say something. To help keep the peace. To help make change. But what can I possibly say? I just know we need to do something. We are taught to be peaceful, but we aren’t at peace. I have to wake up and go to sleep with this pain everyday. Ain't no peace. If we mothers can’t change where this is heading for these families — to public hearings, protests, un-asked-for martyrdom, or worse, to nothing at all — what can we do?" she wrote.
Gwen Carr, the Mother of Eric Garner, a 43-year-old black man placed in a fatal chokehold by an officer, said in a recent interview with NPR that the families who lost loved ones to police brutality must continue to fight for justice. "And those families — please keep awareness out there. Don't let it die because that's what they expect us to do. Oh, this — now it's headlines. Tomorrow, it'll be yesterday's news. Never let it become yesterday's news because to them, it's a headline. To us, it's our lives," she said.
Celebrity mothers have also spoken out including Beyonce and Kim Kardashian.
"While we pray for the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile we will also pray for an end to this plague of injustice in our communities," says Beyonce in a statement on her website.
Kim Kardashian also followed Beyonce's statement with her own.
"We must peacefully use the power of our voices and the strength of our numbers to demand changes in the judicial system so that brutality doesn't ever go unpunished," she wrote. "Hashtags are not enough. This must end now."
And these influential MAKERS mothers have expressed their thoughts on the recent shootings, as well as the deadliest single attack against police officers since 9/11 that left five officers dead in Dallas.
What occurred in Baton Rouge is a tragedy. My comments on Hardball last night. https://t.co/e2yIOib2al— Val Demings (@val_demings) July 7, 2016
The words are hard to come by this morning.My heart is in Dallas, with Chief David Brown, the men and women of the Dallas Police Department— Val Demings (@val_demings) July 8, 2016
Too many African American families are mourning. Too many young black men and women have been taken from us. pic.twitter.com/arkjOeLu7G— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 7, 2016
White Americans need to do a better job of listening when African Americans talk about the seen and unseen barriers you face every day.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 8, 2016
We cannot, must not, vilify police officers. Remember what those officers were doing when they died. They were protecting a peaceful march.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 8, 2016
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Photo Credit: AP Photo/Jeff Roberson