St. Louis grandmother’s criticism of Black Lives Matter goes viral (VIDEO)
Hubbard, who grew up in St. Louis and lives across the river in Illinois, recorded the first video after the August 20 protests in Fountain Park. A house and a car went up in flames, as some 150 demonstrators protested the police shooting of a young black man during a drug raid. Mansur Ball-Bey, 18, was shot in the back after reportedly pointing a gun at two officers and running away.
The night before, 9-year-old Jamyla Bolden was shot and killed in her bedroom in Ferguson, in what appeared to be a random drive-by attack. Hubbard later said she recorded the first video because, as a grandmother of a girl about that age, she was shaken and angered by Bolden’s killing.
“Last night, who do you think they protested for? The thug. The criminal,” said Hubbard, referring to Ball-Bey. Yet nobody protested over the little girl, she said, blasting the demonstrators for “tearing up communities” over criminals who get killed by police, but displaying complete disregard for African-Americans who get killed by the criminals.
Shared with the public via Hubbard’s Facebook page, the video went viral overnight. By Saturday, it had close to four million views. By Monday, it exceeded seven million.
(Warning: The video contains strong language)
Hubbard’s heartfelt remarks sparked both approval and outrage. Though many praised her blunt message, some resorted to “tone-policing” over her use of profanities, while others accused her of betraying the black community and calling her names.
In a follow-up video, recorded Saturday morning, Hubbard apologized for the profanities, but refused to apologize for her position. Referring to the nearly four million views her original video attracted, she said it was a sign that “someone is listening,” and vowed to keep speaking out.
“Call me what you will,” she said, shrugging off the insults. “I am not a sellout. I am here to tell you the truth.”
Hubbard explained she was born in St. Louis, and grew up in the inner city just like today’s protesters. She joined the military, got an education, worked two jobs and raised six children. In the first video, Hubbard noted that one of her sons was in jail, having turned to crime despite the best efforts of his parents. She then pointed to reports of 8-year-olds in St. Louis carjacking people with guns, arguing that when they get shot by the police, it will be their parents’ fault.
“This has never been a race issue,” Hubbard says in the follow-up video, which runs fifteen minutes. “People made it about race. This is not about race. This is about morals. This is about accountability and responsibility. We have to be responsible for the things we do and the things we say.”
“If your life matters, make it matter,” Hubbard said, urging African-Americans to work for the things they want in life. “Don’t steal them, earn them. Respect is earned, it’s never given. People do not respect you if you do not respect yourself.”
She also criticized the concept of “white privilege,” often used by social justice activists. What privilege can there be for people who lost their homes and jobs, and can’t afford medication of even food for their children, she asked. “There is no such thing as white privilege, trust me.”
Hubbard’s remarks seem to have struck a chord with the public, torn between a spike in murder rates and highly publicized incidents of African-Americans dying in encounters with police. She says many blacks and whites alike have messaged her with support, telling her to keep speaking out.
“Until we get a handle, America, on what’s wrong with our country, our people, our community, our race,” Hubbard said, before stopping to clarify. “The way I see it, it’s not a black race, it’s not a white race, it’s not an Asian race, it’s not a Hispanic race, it’s not a Latin race – it’s a human race. And right now, the black community, what we’re racing towards is the morgue. Let’s stop it.”
“I don’t have all the answers,” Hubbard admitted. “If you want to help me, help me. If you don’t want to help me, get out of the way.”