Local Beauty Shops Talk Politics and Impeachment
Monday, November 18, 2019
ERICKA BLOUNT: I’m Ericka Blount in Baltimore with The Real News Network.
Everybody’s talking about the impeachment of Trump. So recently, we visited a nail bar and a hair salon to get the opinions of women in the community.
KOKO BLUE: We are always having conversations about current events that affect us as women, as Black women in particular. We understand that a lot of the conservatives here in this country are looking to kind of pull back on what we have access to. Our birth control, feminine hygiene products are being taxed in some states. It’s kind of like a lose situation for a lot of women. I think people who make these policies forget that they have daughters and mothers, wives, that are all being affected by decisions that are being made predominantly by men who don’t have the issues that we have, who don’t have the body parts that we have. So I know that’s something that comes up a lot in the salon.
GIA WINFIELD: Trump, he’s affecting all of that. All of this shit has been going on. It has been spiraling out of control because of him. And this is what he wanted. You’re so focused on a wall, and then you’re taking children away from their families. These immigrants that are trying to come over here to make a difference with their families, they can’t do that because Trump is getting involved in certain shit that he shouldn’t even be worrying about. He’ll rather be on social media, basically going back and forth with somebody that’s either talking bad about him and things of that nature, acting like a whole fool.
KHADIJA: He has absolutely no respect for women whatsoever. To be a president, to even engage in those types of conversations, it’s just insane.
GIA WINFIELD: It’s crazy.
BELINDA: He will be impeached, but he won’t be removed from office. Yeah. It will be like a Bill Clinton thing. Republicans aren’t going to vote him out of office, unfortunately. It’s got to go through the Senate.
KHADIJA: I don’t see it. Nope. I don’t see it happening.
ERICKA BLOUNT: Why don’t you see it?
OSHUN AFRIQUE: I just feel like he got too many strings, or something. I’m not sure exactly what it is but for what happened when, when his lawyer… Was it his lawyer?
ERICKA BLOUNT: Michael Cohen.
OSHUN AFRIQUE: Yep. For all of them to have said all of the things that they did and no action was taken, that’s really insane. Because he did an awful lot; covered up a lot of things.
ERICKA BLOUNT: Do you think that he would be convicted on any of the things that he’s done? Do you think he’ll actually serve time in prison?
ERICKA BLOUNT: Why?
BELINDA: Because he’s a rich white man.
OSHUN AFRIQUE: Wealthy white people push the idea to poor white people like, ‘You’ll get here one day. Just keep on. Just make sure the Black people don’t get anywhere, or anybody else get anywhere, or the Irish or whoever. You’ll get to where we are.” So I feel like no matter how many times these politicians, especially Trump, has shown these white people–poor, Midwestern, whatever–that it’s just like, “I’m here for wealthy and wealthy only.” They believe that they’re going to be right there with them. They’re racist. I can only imagine how relieved they feel to be open. To be openly hateful, openly racist, openly all the things; whatever you can think of.
BELINDA: You’ve got to remember; most white people don’t see that the world is mostly people of color. They think it’s all about them. They think they on the top. White people are scared of losing the status quo. They’re scared of losing. They say they’re accepting that it’s more diverse and all; they’re saying that. They’re saying, Okay, we’re becoming a more diverse country,” but they’re still fighting it.
GIA WINFIELD: It’s the norm. So we’ve taken it back to our ancestors where you might as well say, “Well blacks got to go to this bathroom and the whites should go to this bathroom.” Because basically, that’s how Trump is trying to take it back. He’s trying to take it back to that era where we are segregated. And there’s so many Trump supporters that support that. And they’re like, “Well, shit. We’re going to keep his ass in office because now we can talk to these motherfuckers the way that our ancestors did and it’s comfortable.” And it’s just crazy. He needs to be out of office.
OSHUN AFRIQUE: I honestly think that I’ve been here for ten generations and I still feel like a visitor. So I think… I’m going to speak for Black people, not the people of color. I think Black people are just visiting here. So I how do you feel comfortable or how do you feel like things are going to change when so many things happen to us?
BELINDA: And then there are deeper issues within our community that we have got to address. Every day I walk by these young men that are lost, lost, lost. And I’m sitting there, “Why, why, why?” What can we do to bring these young people back into the fold?
KOKO BLUE: I have a 23, 22 and a 17 year old. I hear them saying, for so long; we talk about oppression, we talk about racism, poverty. They are so over the hierarchy of people just making decisions with our lives. And they don’t really feel like they are active when they participate. They don’t feel like their voices are really being heard.
GIA WINFIELD: Hopefully this is just a wakeup call that we really need to stick together.
JASMIN ALLEN: As Black people.
GIA WINFIELD: Because we can do it. We’re powerful. It’s just the simple fact of not being scared.
JAZMIN ALLEN: That’s how I feel as us, as all Black people; we still want to maintain, but at the end of the day we’re all going to have our breaking point.
GIA WINFIELD: With us, we sit there and think the white man’s going to do right by us. No. They’re not going to until we rise up and say we’re tired of this. And not just the Black people. It’s going to take the whole working middle to come together to say, “We’re tired of this treatment.”
KOKO BLUE: I think that in our community, Black women have this way–magic, if you will–of maintaining in spite of all that’s going on around us. So regardless of what happens in the White House, I see Black women here in Baltimore, all around the United States, doing things differently these days. And so I think that America needs to an eye on Black women. We are taking charge of our lives. We are taking charge of the communication about our lives. And so regardless of what happens on the political scene, we’re going to do our thing.
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