Samaria Rice, the mother of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old who was shot by Cleveland police in November of 2014, has been calling out activists who she has perceived to be “clout chasing.” This week, she specifically addressed Tamika Mallory, who gave a speech at the Grammys during Lil Baby’s performance.
Now, Mallory has responded to the allegation from Rice.
According to Yahoo, while on her podcast Street Politicians, Mallory began, “From my perspective, I want to make sure that, as a mother, that I speak directly to Ms. Rice.”
Mallory said she reached out to Rice through “some other individuals” but that the two have never communicated.
“I want to just make sure that we start off grounded in the fact that nothing we say today is an attack on Ms. Rice. Quite frankly, Ms. Rice is right,” Mallory continued. “I support 100% how she feels and what she has stated in terms of her pain in terms of her son. I feel like we all have failed her… The fact that she did not get the proper justice for her son would make anyone angry. So, I totally respect the pain and the trauma that she feels as a mother.”
Rice also accused activists of evoking her son’s name and “reaping the benefits.”
Mallory addressed that accusation specifically, saying, “I think it’s important to clarify whether we have used Ms. Rice’s child, her baby, in campaigns or in speeches, fundraising, we have not. Other than potentially calling the role of all the people who have been killed by the state. I have been very careful not to speak about cases or individuals that I have not worked directly with the families. Particularly in this situation, whereas Ms. Rice stated, we never even met.”
She reiterated, “I would never be so disrespectful to speak about her child or have a campaign that uses her child or his name to uplift any cause. I think that’s really, really important to state.”
Mallory continued, “Ms. Rice has said that she wants me to not speak of her child. While I have not been doing it in the past, I will be very, very careful going forward to ensure that I respect her wishes. Even if we feel that we are using all the names in order to make a bigger point, we will be very, very careful not to disrespect her wishes.”
In Rice’s Facebook post about the Tamika Mallory and the Grammy Awards, she used the word “b**ch,” which she apologized for on a March 17 episode of SiriusXM's The Clay Cane Show, saying, “I could’ve said it different. Tamika, I didn’t have to call you out your name, but baby girl, you out of pocket. You out your lane… I did what I did, I said what I said. Could I have said it in a different way? Yes, I could have, but at the time, it got me angry. And, here we go once again. Maybe you should have the mothers on the stage, with you Tamika, as a family.”
Mallory said it “absolutely hurt” to be called out by Rice. However, she remarked, “But, again, I understand. And because of the fact that I do this work, that we do this work from a very, very authentic place. I may not have lost a child, but I did lose my child’s father, and it wasn’t to police brutality, but I understand loss. And I fight every day to ensure that I don’t have to experience what so many mothers of young Black men have experienced.”
She continued, “Because I understand that pain and trauma, I would like to tell Ms. Rice today that I am available to be supportive and if necessary, I’m here for phone calls, I’m here for any type of conversations with any family that would like to reach out and talk about the death of their child or some tragic situation that has happened to them.”
While on The Clay Cane Show, Rice was asked if she would ever consider working with Mallory if she reached out.
“It’s no working together because she has created a platform,” Rice began. “What are we going to work and do? She already created a platform, and guess what? My platform was given to me from the death of my son. What type of work are we going to do because I’m not interested in no movie deals and book deals. That comes to me every day. I have to turn away every day. So, tell me, what we going to do?”
Rice is referring to Mallory book’s State of Emergency: How We Win in the Country We Built, which will be released in May.
In December, the Department of Justice officially closed the case involving Tamir Rice without bringing charges against police officers.
To see more of Samaria’s Rice interview, which also includes Lisa Simpsone, whose Richard Risher was killed by LAPD in 2018, watch below:
(Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images & by Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
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