TRNN Executive Producer Eddie Conway speaks with barbers and patrons of Conscious Heads Barbershop in Baltimore about the recent murder of Richard Collins.
“The Real News” has released an interview tackling some unexpected issues concerning the death of Richard Collins, murdered in College Park some time ago. He asked some people in the barbershop what they thought and what they felt about the incident, about the racist history of the US, portraying Black people as thugs, violence, white supremacy and the ways African-Americans can protect themselves.
Here’s what people think.
Eddie Conway: So are you aware of the incident that occurred in College Park with the young man that had just been commissioned in the Army as a Second Lieutenant and was supposed to graduate on Saturday? He got commissioned on Thursday, he got killed Friday night, and of course he missed his graduation on Saturday. So what do you think about the whole situation?
Speaker: I was going to do a more thorough investigation on it. However, it seems to be … I pretty much can guess what it is. It’s been … lately, people just been … whenever they feel like killing Black people, they go suit up at will, like the guy that went from Baltimore to New York. And just at will, it’s just the same thing, but it’s a problem that’s been going on since we been here in America if you was to trace it back. The attitude and the mentality is the same thing.
Eddie Conway: You’re saying we’ve been here, as in Africans brought out of Africa and put in slavery here in America? Is that the “we” you’re talking about?
Speaker: Yeah, exactly … we as black people here in America. It’s always been like that same attitude, making excuses, any reason to go over and kill a black person. They think they whistled at some white girl here, so because that they even thought that they did it, they would go and have a lynching party. And in those lynching parties, they would have tens of thousands of people that would come out and send out postcards, and say, “Hey, look what we did last night.” Not scared because they knew they weren’t going to be persecuted by the law. Their faces, they had their sons, they had their daughters, grandmama … everybody would be in that picture where they would actually do it because they knew that they had that white privilege. If I was a betting man, I would bet that it’s the same mentality after I go and do more investigation. I don’t know, do you have more information about the case?
Eddie Conway: His case was presented as a case in which he was, like, really special because he was in Army, he was a commissioned officer, he was graduating from college. But do that make a difference in terms of racism and how racists attack us? And technically, that was a lynching. How they lynch us? Do it make a difference whether … I noticed The Sun paper said he wasn’t a thug, as if that meant that it’s okay to kill thugs. How do you feel about that?
Richard Collins III’s graduation gown draped over front row chairs at Bowie State University ceremony. He was murdered Saturday. pic.twitter.com/dq7CsBzpLl
— Neal Augenstein (@AugensteinWTOP) May 23, 2017
Speaker: A lot of this time … America, when they do these things to Black people, they always want to deflect. They did it to Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin wasn’t a thug, or they want to bring up criminal past if there was one. Or their parents’ history, whether there was a relative in the house or a father figure. None of that stuff matters.
— Justin Fenton (@justin_fenton) May 23, 2017
Eddie Conway: I notice you keep saying “America.” Are you referring to the United States of America, or certain a portion of America? And I notice you say they keep doing this, so you’re also saying that this is a historical thing?
Speaker: Yeah. Through history, we’ve seen them do terrible things to black people and expect us to move on and forget about it. A lot of the times they want to use that we’ve “progressed” and say that we’ve progressed … we have the Oprah Winfreys, the Tyler Perrys and all of that, but yet we still have killings of Black people when Black people … we don’t own anything; we don’t own any property. The school system … from the school system to all the other issues in the community. So we still have a lot more work to do.
Eddie Conway: What do you think, if anything, we can or should do as a people that’s being attacked like that?
Speaker: As a people, I feel like the Black community needs to unify. Here at Conscious Heads, we promote “unify or die.” That’s what we say here. It’s just all about unifying or dying. We need to come together and rebuild our own system, because this system is against us, and stop trying to always work with it.
Eddie Conway: The people that’s been attacking us don’t adhere to what we have to do. They have their own mentality, their own white supremacy. So what do we do to protect ourselves from those hostilities?
Speaker: Continue to kill it with knowledge, man. We continue to continue because knowledge is power. In any situation, the more we know, the more we can do about it, and the more it’ll show.