By Tiffany Bargeman and Vanessa McCullers
On January 20th, thousands of women descended on Waterfront Park for the Women's March in San Diego, CA, to demonstrate their unity and be voices for those in need of support. MOBB United's Communications Committee Chair Vanessa McCullers gave a powerful and passionate speech on behalf of the sister organizations MOBB United for Social Change, Inc. (MUSC) and Moms of Black Boys United, Inc., explaining just how valuable the lives of our Black men and boys are and demanding social change for them and all moms of Black sons in America. Please take some time to read her speech below.
“Good morning, everyone! I am so excited to see so many new and familiar faces today. To the organizers of today’s march, Sarah, Poppy, and your teams, thank you. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to speak this morning.
This same time last year, I was preparing for the Women’s March. My daughter, Jazz, was beside me, proudly displaying her Girl Power. I was beyond thrilled with Jazz’s desire to be heard and to raise her voice against racism and discrimination, exactly like we do at MOBB United.
In 2016, I joined our hours-old online network of mothers called Moms of Black Boys United on Facebook. We moms shared our concerns and fears. In fact, many of us mothers agree that our Black children; specifically, our black boys, live in a society that is both hostile and threatening to them. Statistics indicate that 1 in 3 Black men will enter prison at some point in their lives. The killings of unarmed black men are now being streamed via social media. Our members knew we needed to speak out against the negative things that were impacting our families and our communities. But we knew that simply complaining about injustice was not the way. So we have developed a nonprofit, Moms of Black Boys United for Social Change. We are committed to using our strength and power to fight police brutality.
The emotional stimuli to fight and never give up comes from many different sources. Like Trump and his harmful remarks about women, African Americans, immigrants, poor and disenfranchised lets us know that our voices are needed.
With its longstanding history of bias and insensitivity toward racial and ethnic minorities, I believe there is no justice in the Department of Justice. I say this because the DOJ declines to enforce laws that benefit and protect communities of color. Whenever communities of color are under attack and under siege, no one is held accountable.
Not only should the officers be held accountable, but also those who encourage them to be “rough” when arresting citizens!
If we are to find justice for all the sons, brothers, husbands and loved ones we have lost, we must encourage our state and local officials to embrace our agenda—an agenda that cries POLICE BRUTALITY NO MORE, and seeks accountability from those who use their position of influence to break the law.
MOBB United for Social Change is committed to holding the Trump Administration, our local, and our state officials accountable to creating policies that benefit all people, especially communities of color.
We are serious about the fight for justice in America. We will not rest until our Black daughters and sons can feel 100 percent safe walking alone to the convenience store to purchase ice tea and Skittles. They shouldn’t have to run from the police. They should be able to run to the police if they are in trouble!
Together, we stand asking you to stand with us. We believe that by using our collective powers, we can create change, and build a better, brighter, kinder and safer world for your sons and daughters, for Jazz, for future generations, and for all of humanity.
Thank you for hearing the cry of MOBB United! Stay alert, vote in every election, and never give up the fight!”
The following posts were shared originally in the Moms of Black Boys United, Inc. private Facebook group, and mom Vaness McCullers gave us permission to share them publicly. If you are a mom of a Black son and member of that group, you can watch her deliver her speech.