TheGrio Daily

It’s Giving…

Episode 133

“If you say what Black people need to do is just focus on crime, who do they think we are, Batman?” Michael Harriot explains why it’s ignorant and racist to blame Black people for the violence in their communities and not keep that same energy when other demographics commit the same crimes. He explains that there are several issues like education, policing, and equal pay that have to be addressed by white America before real change can be achieved. 

Read full transcript below.

[00:00:00] You are now listening to theGrio’s Black Podcast Network. Black Culture Amplified. 

Michael Harriot [00:00:05] What’s up, y’all? You know, when I think about Black people in general, you know, I always say it’s giving me melanin. It’s giving me pride. It’s giving. well, It’s just giving. That’s why I want to welcome you to theGrio Daily, the only podcast that will tell you what Black people actually give. Yeah. So today’s episode is really not about that phrase. It’s an idea that I’ve been talking about for a long time, and it’s the idea of giving. The idea of charity. So we always hear about what Black people need to do. You know, Black people need to do this. Black people need to do that. And some of those things are based on the idea that like, well, we need to do this in our community. We need to, you know, work on Black on Black crime in our community, when in reality Black people actually do more about Black on Black crime than any other group in America. Well, how do I know that? So there are studies like a Pew study that shows that Black people actually care more, about 87% of Black people think crime or gun violence is a problem, for instance. And about 78% of Black people care that Black Lives Matter or support the idea that Black Lives Matter, which is high. Right? But it is the opposite of what white people say when they say, well, instead of worrying about Black Lives Matter, what you do more about violence in your community. But we are giving our time and our effort and our money to fight Black on Black crime. You know, everybody knows, like white people don’t even know about Ques or about Deltas, like when Kamala Harris was running for VP. You know, I remember a white reporter says, why does everybody always squeal at her press conferences? And I was like, she’s an AKA. And it was like, Yeah, I know she’s also known as other things. Now it’s hard to explain to white people. But anyway, there are Black fraternal organizations like, you know, the Divine Nine, Elks, Masons like Eastern Stars who give time and money to fight the same things that white people who keep telling us we need to work on. Right. 

Michael Harriot [00:02:37] As a matter of fact, there are studies, like numerous studies, every time someone does one of these studies to try to figure out charitable giving or philanthropy or volunteering. It turns out that Black people volunteer more often than any other demographic. We volunteer the second most time to Hispanics. We give more money, Black people. There are studies that show from the Washington Post. There’s another by the AARP. There are numerous charitable organizations that have done these studies that show that Black people give a higher percentage of their wealth to community organizations, community charities. And most of these, like religious organizations, are number one among every group. But when it comes to social or community organizations, Black people ranked way above everybody else, like it ain’t even close. Right. And especially when you look at a percentage of their wealth. So if Elon Musk gave $1,000,000 to Black Lives Matter, it wouldn’t be as much as somebody who makes $50,000 a year giving $100 to a charity that fights crime. 

Michael Harriot [00:03:54] And then like you can pause this podcast and do me a favor, right? Go to Facebook or go to Eventbrite. Right. If you don’t have a Facebook account, because who doesn’t have a Facebook account and go to the events section and just look up how many stop the violence events are in your area in the next two weeks or the next month. Let’s do a month. Or look up how many anti-gun rallies are in your community in the next month. Now look up how many Black Lives Matter marches are in your community in the next month. Like you see the difference, right? Like it’s almost ten times more stuff fighting crime. But they don’t think we’re giving our attention or giving our time to it. And I understand why they don’t, because the people who say that are not in Black communities, they don’t go to church with us and hear every preacher say, you know, we need to stop killing each other. They don’t hear it at our Thanksgiving tables because they even white people. Right. They don’t see the stop the violence marches and cookouts and fish fries because they buy white stuff. They be at, I don’t know what white people go to? I don’t know. Civil War reenactments. Square dancing competitions. I don’t know. I’m just spit balling here. But they do not see that we’re giving are efforts through the thing that they tell us we need to give our efforts about. 

Michael Harriot [00:05:12] But here’s the thing, right? If we wanted to solve crime in our communities, if we wanted to improve on education, if we really wanted to work on all of these things, there are a million things that we would have to do before we could even address what Black people need to do. Because when people say focus on education or focus on hard work. First, we have to find out why Black people are unemployed at twice the rate throughout the history of this country as white people, we have to figure out why white people throw resumes in the trash when it has a Black sounding name. There are studies that show that. We’d have to find out why Black people with the same education and experience are underemployed compared to whites. We’d have to show why they’re underpaid less than whites. Because if you just say work hard and we ain’t getting the same pay. You sound dumb. You’re giving stupid. You’re giving ignorance. And if we wanted to stop Black on Black crime. Before we get to I don’t know what they think we supposed to do, I’ll put on a cape and go learn karate so we can fight evil at night. I don’t know. Like if we were supposed to do that. 

Michael Harriot [00:06:26] Well, first thing we’d have to do is we’d have to find an effective way to police. We’d have to equalize the criminal justice system. We’d have to use strategies that actually work to stop crime, education, poverty are more connected to crime than out How many people in uniforms have guns on their hips? We have to do that before we even get to what Black people need to do. And I do not know what Black people need to do because like me and criminals don’t really kick it that often that they tell me the secrets to stopping crime. So I don’t kinda know. Maybe I could research that. Maybe that’s what Black people need to do. But if not, if you say what Black people need to do this focus on crime. Who do they think we are? Black Batman? Like, do I have an Iron Man suit in my closet that y’all didn’t tell me about? Maybe set off dry cleaners? Because if not, you’re giving don’t you’re giving racism, you’re giving white supremacists, you’re giving excuses that don’t look at structural problems. Instead of blaming Black people, you’re giving white. You’re giving the essence of a person who doesn’t download this podcast, who doesn’t subscribe, who doesn’t download that Grio app, and who doesn’t tell their friends about it. You’re giving someone who’s new here, so you might not know that we end every podcast with a Black saying. And today’s Black saying is, “You’re giving everything but equality.” We’ll see you next time on theGrio Daily. If you like what you heard, please give us a five star review. Download theGrio app, Subscribe to the show and to share it with everyone you know. Please email all questions, suggestions and compliments to podcasts at theGrio dot com. 

[00:08:18] You are now listening to theGrio’s Black Podcast Network. Black Culture Amplified. 

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