The shooting of Wisconsin man Jacob Blake has stoked the embers of outrage and protests sparked by the deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and others. At a news conference, Blake’s family, most especially one of his sisters, all delivered a stern message to America in the wake of this latest police shooting.
Flanked by attorney Benjamin Crump, Jacob Blake Sr., Blake’s mother Julia Jackson, and Blake’s sister Letetra Wideman all took turns speaking to media on Tuesday (August 25). Blake’s father spoke eloquently and stated a prayer in Arabic, while Blake’s mother urged Kenosha citizens to maintain peace.
Wideman took an entirely different path from the rest of the family, using her time at the podium to rebuke racial injustice in unflinching fashion.
“I am my brother’s keeper. And when you say the name Jacob Blake, make sure you say father. Make sure you say cousin. Make sure you say son. Make sure you say uncle. But most importantly, make sure you say human. Human life. Let it marinade in your mouth, in your minds. A human life. Just like every single one of y’all. And we’re human. And his life matters,” Wideman said in opening words.
She added, “So many people have reached out to me telling me they’re sorry that this happened to my family. Well, don’t be sorry because this has been happening to my family for a long time. Longer than I can account for. It happened to Emmett Till. Emmett Till is my family. Philando, Mike Brown, Sandra. This has been happening to my family. And I’ve shed tears for every single one of these people that it’s happened to. This is nothing new.”
The video of the conference can be viewed courtesy of local outlet TMJ4 News below. Skip to the 29:26 minute mark to see Wideman’s statements. Powerful stuff.