Activist Tamika Mallory addressed the claims of Tamir’s Rice mother on Thursday, days after Samaria Rice released a statement accusing Mallory and other movement activists of financially profiting off her pain.
Rice’s comments came after the Grammys where Mallory took the stage with rapper Lil Baby during a performance on Black Lives Matter and social justice.
This week Rice, along with Lisa Simpson, whose son Richard Risher was killed by the LAPD in 2016, released a list of demands, specifically naming Mallory, Crump, S. Lee Merritt, Shaun King, Patrisse Cullors and Melina Abdullah. Rice and Simpson say that while the individuals have profited of of their pain, their families have yet to see a dime of the monies raised.
During the most recent episode of her “For The Record: Chasing Freedom” podcast with Mysonne, Mallory confirmed that she reached out to Rice once her statement went viral on social media.
“Nothing we say today is an attack against Ms. Rice. I want to make sure that that is stated from the very, very beginning. Quite frankly, Ms. Rice is right. I support 100% how she feels and what she has stated in terms of her pain related to her son,” Mallory said.
“I feel like we all have failed her,” she continued. “I was thinking a lot about this coming here today— we all have failed her. As a nation, I think that whenever a child, or any person, but particularly a child is killed, this nation should have erupted. And the fact that she did not get the proper justice for her son would make anyone angry. And so I totally understand and respect the trauma and pain that she feels as a mother.”
Mallory said that she “doesn’t participate” in divisiveness, which she feels has been used to dismantle movements from the past and present. She said she will not speak negatively about or to Tamir’s mother.
“I will never ever allow my organization, my team, Until Freedom, or myself to be used a tool in the master’s box. I will never allow that,” Mallory said.
Mallory said that neither her nor Mysonne have used Tamir Rice’s name for profit, especially names of individuals or families that she has never worked with or spoken with. Mallory said that she only referenced Rice’s name when speaking about the names of individuals who have lost their lives due to police brutality.
“I would never be so disrespectful as to speak about her child, or to have a campaign that addresses her child, or uses her child’s name to uplift any cause,” Mallory said.
“I will be very, very careful going forward to ensure that I will respect her wishes,” she continued.
Mallory said that while she will never disrespect Rice, she was “hurt” by being called out of her name by Rice. Mallory understands loss after losing her father’s child, but she knows that it does not equate to the loss of a child.
To hear all of Mallory’s statement watch the video below.