Influential dancehall artiste and actress Spice, who spends a lot of her time in the US, has weighed in on the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Floyd died while being detained by the police on May 25 for an alleged counterfeit note used to buy cigarettes. Video surveillance of the incident showed three officers on top of the man, who they claimed was resisting arrest. One of the officers, Derek Chauvin, has been arrested since the incident. He was seen with his knee on Floyd’s neck.
The US has since erupted into protests around the country as people call for the arrest of all of the officers involved in the incident as well as the immediate end to police brutality, particularly towards African Americans.
Spice took to her Instagram account to give her feelings on the matter, which must be of special importance to her as she earlier announced that she would like to settle in Atlanta with her family.
Spice also has a 12-year-old son.
In one post, she wrote “I try to put out the best but I’m grieving inside for George Floyd. Simply because that could have been me. Don’t stop the protest I want my son to be free to walk the streets without being killed by a cop. only because he’s #BLACK”
In a video, Spice took issue with people who are saying that the protests are not needed and that it makes black people look bad. The Black Hypocrisy singer said that she considers that to be black people attacking black people, which she ads is not what is needed in this situation.
“At the end of the day, you stay home and do nothing, and people are out there fighting for rights, our freedom, for justice,” she said before joining the protests herself. Even though many black people have been killed unfairly in the US, this was probably the first time that people were able to witness the heinous act, she said. “We watched his breath leaving his body.”
Spice added that while she doesn’t believe in the destruction of property, she wondered if people truly understood the oppression that black men and women have faced over the years at the hands of police. She recalled Sandra Bland’s death to emphasize her point that it is black men and women who are being persecuted daily.
What these riots show is that black people are tired of oppression, and there needs to be a change now, she continued. “We’re tired, we’re fed up, we’re angry,” she said.
She questioned where all the white people, especially celebrities, who said that they loved black people, were as the masses continue to agitate for equality.
She called a few white musicians names who she felt should take a personal interest in the events unfolding in the US right now as she once again called on black people to unite and not bicker about how to approach the question of addressing injustice.
“At this point is not about black versus white no more. It’s about all of us against white supremacy,” she added.
Spice added that while everyone was up in arms about buildings that could eventually be rebuilt, George Floyd is dead, and his family can not have him back, even when the protests are finished. She once again emphasized that she was not condoning the destruction of property but felt that it was necessary for people to protest.
“Just allow the people to protest. As a black woman, as a black mother, with a black son, so that my son can go outside and be pulled over by a cop and not get killed innocently.”
She ended the video by reminding those who may be opposed to the protests that it was because of their ancestors fight that black people have freedom to this day and that freedom also extends to expression, which is what the protests are all about.