The moment I first watched the video below, this is the quote that came to mind–The Dude:”This is a very complicated case, Maude. You know, a lotta ins, lotta outs, lotta what-have-you’s. And, uh, lotta strands to keep in my head, man. Lotta strands in old Duder’s head. Luckily I’m adhering to a pretty strict, uh, drug regimen to keep my mind, you know, limber.”
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Lotta ins, lotta outs. The video embed is at the bottom, I promise. You just have to hang with me through this one.
We can begin by acknowledging that Sherelle Smith is under some intense emotional stress. She’s the sister of the armed black man shot and killed by Milwaukee police last week. I can’t imagine being in her shoes.
Yet she’s thrust herself into the spotlight. Milwauke has been gripped by violence. The protests that happened in the wake of Sylville Smith’s death have been deadly, and destructive. Sherelle Smith, reacting to the unrest, stepped up. In front of numerous media outlets, she made an impassioned plea for peace.
Or at least that’s how it started. She exploded and unloaded on the protestors who were wrecking their own community. And she wasn’t holding back with the language, either. Those of you who are sensitive to that sort of thing should stop reading now.
Go think of kittens, or something.
For the rest of you, those who don’t look away when you’re driving past the car wreck, remember this. The man who was shot by police had a gun. The gun he had was stolen. It was stolen from someone who had bought it legally. It was stolen in a burglary, along with 500 rounds of ammo.
“I lost my brother. I can’t get him back. Never. Never. That’s pain. I can’t look him in the eye no more,” Sherelle said.
“At the end of the day, acting out ain’t gonna solve it. Ain’t gonna solve nothing for Sylville. The city went crazy (Saturday) night over Syville. We tired of it. We tired,” Kimberly Neal (another of Sylville’s sisters) said.
But Sherelle was just getting started. “Burning down s**t ain’t gonna help nothin’!” she yelled. “You’re burning down s**t we need in our community. Take that s**t to the suburbs! Burn that s**t down!”
“We need our s**t. We need our weaves.”
It is this last part of the now-viral clip that still has me rolling on the floor. I feel really bad about this, as this woman is clearly grieving for the loss of her brother, and emotionally distraught over the destruction her community has brought on itself.
“We need our weaves. I don’t wear it, but we need it.”
The reference to the looting of stores that sell hair weaves–something that’s become cliche in all of these protests–is irony. When one thinks of the resources being destroyed in this community, and in the rioting that has spread across the nation, a list of necessities comes to mind. Weaves is not high on the list.
Still, there are other angles here. The impassioned pleas for peace are brilliant, until you hear the follow-up, which is a woman screaming about burning down the suburbs. Many of the mainstream outlets–like CNN–are just cutting the video, which makes this woman look like a saint.
Yet the internet exists, and stories–full stories–filter through. And now we see even more media bias. This is perfect example of how news providers with an agenda are still trying to shape the news, and how the story still gets out.
And the internet has a sense of humor. One of the videos on Youtube that contains the full rant is titled: “Sherelle Smith Does Commercial for NRA.”
And then there ae posts like this one, below. I wonder if the cops have knocked on his door yet.
— DeeconX (@DeeconX) August 15, 2016