I want to thank Yawatta Hosby for participating in this interview and offering both her intellect and sentiment on racism in the United States and the impact it's having on our communities, our nation, and on humanity.
Author of over four horror/suspense novellas and novels, Yawatta Hosby focuses on the psychological turmoil of her characters. Three of her short stories have been featured in anthologies. You can find her work here.
It's become quiet again. This is to keeping it alive.
1. Black Lives Matter. What is your response to communities that rebuttal this movement with All Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter? Why are they not comparable?
Everyone knows that all lives matter. No one’s refuting that. However, at this time, black people need help. We’re constantly being killed by the police and by racists. People are filming these tragic events with law enforcement and lawmakers doing nothing. It gets pushed under the rug until they’re exposed on social media, then the cops get fired or the racists get arrested. Justice should be an automatic thing, not something done after there’s a backlash. And, for the people saying “don’t do anything wrong, then cops won’t bother you,” what about Breonna Taylor? She was sleeping in her home and got gunned down by the police.
I’ve noticed All Lives Matter people are the same ones who will refuse to wear a mask during COVID-19 because “it’s hard to breathe;” they think it’s okay for immigrants to be locked up in filthy detention conditions because “they deserve it;” they will refuse to vote against guns to save children’s lives in school because “we have a right to carry firearms;” they hated J Lo and Shakira’s halftime performance show because “they sang in Spanish and had the audacity to wave a Puerto Rican flag.” I’m not saying ALL All Lives Matter people are like that, but it’s the majority I’ve come across in real life.
And with Blue Lives Matter people, I’ve noticed they won’t even acknowledge that anything is wrong with the system. It’s extremely flawed, but all I see is no one is allowed to say anything negative about any cop, no matter what. Where’s the growth in that? If there’s ten bad cops and no coworker or boss will step up to stop them, then the whole department is bad. I’ve also noticed Blue Lives Matter people will call all protestors violent and rioters without acknowledging they’re separate.
If you got offended by my dismissive attitude, then you’ll know how I feel whenever I hear: “What are black people complaining about now? They arrested the cops involved with George Floyd’s murder. Why are they still not satisfied? They get handed everything and they still aren’t happy.” Or whenever I read a negative conspiracy theory surrounding Black Lives Matter. People would rather believe the dumbest stuff instead of acknowledge BLM wants injustice and inequality to stop. It’s a sad world we live in.
2. There are some people, some communities, that do not and will not stop to think about what it would be like if their race were dealt a history of violence, marginalization, and discrimination. What would you say to these people?
Those type of people would get my silence. It wouldn’t be worth my time to say anything to them because I would just hear “But, but, but...” as a response.
3. How does the media do harm and good for the Black Lives Matter movement?
The media usually does more harm than good. On the news, most footage showed the peaceful protestors as rioters when that wasn’t the case. They showed the cops beating protestors up like they deserved it. They definitely did not deserve that mistreatment. It seems like the media is more keen on trying to cause a racial division than actually stating facts. I hardly saw or read anything about the peaceful protests. Only the rowdy ones got coverage. I had to go on social media to watch the real footage of some of the protests. The ones where everyone was coming together; the ones where protestors diffused situations, like troublemakers trying to start violence; the ones where some cops became bullies; the ones were some cops talked to the protestors and actually listened to what they had to say.
Peaceful protests are still going on. In some places, they never stopped. Notice the news doesn’t cover them anymore. Ask yourself why...
4. Although the media does help to amplify the voices of the black community, it also amplifies the “trend” of these movements. How can people continue to support marginalized communities and specifically Black Lives Matter rather than just stepping up when another black brother or sister is murdered?
People can help by educating themselves on US History. Real facts. Not just the water down version they show in history books. Also people can show empathy. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes, not just ignore things because it doesn’t affect you. I love the support that the Black Lives Matter movement has been getting from all over the world. It really means a lot. To keep supporting throughout the years and not just when it’s trendy to do so, people can continue to support black businesses. If someone encounters a racist, then speak up. Keep filming them and exposing them on social media. Call them out publicly so they see it’s not okay to be a crappy human being. If you have a platform, consider promoting minorities. Word of mouth helps businesses succeed.
5. What are your thoughts on the burning down of buildings during protests?
It breaks my heart to hear more sympathy for buildings and statutes than for a human being’s life.
Real talk—I overheard a man say, “I saw footage on the news of nasty rioters destroying a cafe. They broke everything and that woman had worked so hard. It broke my heart to see her cupcakes splattered all over the floor. That’s more sad than what that cop did to that man.” He had been referring to George Floyd. Sickening.
6. Do you think we are getting better? Do you have hope for our future as a human race in the face of racist agendas? How do you think these detrimental ideologies can be changed?
To be honest, I’ve lost hope a while ago. I’ve been broken since Trump got into office. I’ve seen America turn into something so hateful, and it’s disgusting, but hopefully things will get better. They may get worse before they get better, but maybe one day things will get better. I can say I’m proud of the people who showed support for Black Lives Matter, even with the possible consequence of losing customers and/or friends. It takes courage to stand up for what’s right, especially if you’re not a minority and could have just looked the other way.
This isn’t the first time the Black Lives Matter movement happened. Remember Colin Kapernick and other football players who tried to bring awareness in a peaceful manner...they got so much hate and the public dismissed their message because they were offended for being reminded of inequality during football. Now, I’ve noticed during this BLM movement, black people are getting support from everyone. More support than hate. We’re all banding together to fight racism and inequality. I can smile at that. If things change for the better in the future, I think it’ll be the younger generation who will be strong and persistent enough to make that change.
Thank you Yawatta Hosby for taking time to answer these questions and for your courage and your voice.
I am Sterp. I write horror fiction and have a very unhealthy obsession with disturbing narratives. I am the author of The Cult Called Freedom House: Sophia Rey Book One. My short story The Lost Tea Cup will be in Issue 26 of The Literary Hatchet in 2020. I am also a painter.
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