October 4, 2022

Whole Community News

From Kalapuya lands in the Willamette watershed

Black Girl From Eugene reflects on the Rittenhouse verdict: ‘We have a problem’

3 min read
Ayisha Elliott reflects on the verdict in her KEPW program, Black Girl From Eugene.

Ayisha Elliott reflects on the verdict in her KEPW program, Black Girl From Eugene.

Ayisha Elliott reflects on the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict. Her KEPW show airs every Sunday morning at 11 a.m., ‘Black Girl From Eugene.’

[00:00:09] Ayisha Elliott: The Rittenhouse trial was all white folks talking about other white folks that they had killed in the name of this American dream. This idea of a gun-totin’ minor was somehow this glory day of rights come to fruition. It was so disgusting. The display was in essence a God complex that is still not being addressed fully by white folks that within their privilege cannot find themselves in a space to look at each other and say, We have a problem.

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[00:00:52] Anybody but a white boy or a young white girl would be subject to actual law, right? The crossing of the border, the under-age-ness of the whole situation, the fact that you’re carrying an open military rifle. Like, I, I don’t understand how white folk can just skip past just the simple, legalities that were just pushed aside.

[00:01:18] He wasn’t rich, he didn’t even have to have money. He didn’t buy that lawyer. He ain’t educated, the boy ain’t even graduated high school yet. What power did he use to get off on all of the laws that he broke before he murdered two people?

[00:01:34] He took out two people before he even turned 18. They are so proud talking about how responsibly he held the gun, how he came through in self-defense. He shouldn’t have been there in the first place. Besides that night, the fact that we had a chance to put away the precedent of having free vigilantes coming through the streets and threatening people—let’s stop there. The idea that you, a white man with all the power in the world, could say that you feel threatened by anything to the point that you can murder someone. We’ve got a problem.

[00:02:13] John Q: She challenged Eugene to transform America’s culture of white privilege.

[00:02:18] Ayisha Elliott: Our white friends, we need some help around here. We need some mental health assessments, anger is costing people their lives. They can’t control themselves. We’ve got judges that are abusing their power. They’re supposed to be making the highest non-biased judgment, neutral. As white men, I don’t know if that’s possible when the whole world is catered to you in your privilege? Can it be possible that they can hold the highest power and stay neutral?

[00:02:55] White folks, you’re disgusted. How disgusted are you? Enough to choose to let go of power, enough to back up off it when it’s not for you, even though it’d be easier if you just did it yourself, or you had it yourself, or you didn’t have to try to understand someone else’s position.

[00:03:13] I’d like to take a moment to tell you that life is just real out here for black and brown people. Having to go to work tomorrow, having to go to work tonight, you know, in predominantly white spaces. It’s about time we share some of that heat, some of that heavy, share a little bit of that. Pick it up. You’d have to put down something in order to pick that up.

[00:03:40] Come on. What are we doing? In every aspect of this world, there is anti-blackness behind it. Just ask questions. Just ask to do something differently. Just have a little courage to be a little more uncomfortable, a little bit more in touch, grounded in reality. Because if your reality doesn’t have this level of uncomfortability in it, it’s because you are able to choose that it doesn’t.

[00:04:16] John Q: To hear the entire program, search KEPW.org for “Black Girl From Eugene.”

[00:04:22] Ayisha Elliott: Please check out my podcasts on all platforms, it’s out there. Check out my Instagram, I’m there: “Black Girl From Eugene.” I am Ayisha Elliott, for local radio station 97.3 KEPW. I’ll talk to you soon. Peace out.

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