Illustration for article titled America Has Looted Black People, Says Activist Tamika Mallory
Photo: Getty

Tamika Mallory demanded justice for George Floyd at a rally in Minneapolis on Friday, the Star Tribune reports, calling on everyone who’s more concerned about property damage than with state-sanctioned violence against Black Americans to get their priorities straight—and quickly.

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The activist, who previously served as a National Co-Chair of the Women’s March, criticized public outcry over damage to local chains like Target and AutoZone, arguing that such materialist concerns devalue the human lives that are actually at stake.

In a video tweeted by KARE 11 News photojournalist Ben Garvin, she says:

We are in a state of emergency… The reason why buildings are burning is not just for our brother, George Floyd. They’re burning down because people here in Minnesota are saying to people in New York, to people in California, to people in Memphis, to people all across this nation: Enough is enough… I don’t give a damn if they burn down Target because Target should be on the streets with us, calling for the justice that our people deserve. Where was AutoZone at the time when Philando Castile was shot in a car?

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Mallory, who also spoke at a rally for Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky, on Tuesday, then went on to offer one possible way to bring an end to the protests, at least in the short term:

There’s an easy way to stop it. Arrest the cops. Charge the cops. Charge all the cops—not just some of them, not just here in Minneapolis. Charge them in every city across America where our people are being murdered. Charge them everywhere. That’s the bottom line. Charge the cops. Do your job. Do what you say this country is supposed to be about, ‘the land of the free’ for all. It has not been free for Black people, and we are tired.

In closing, she slammed the dog-whistle talking points about Black people and looting, uttered most notably by the President on Friday morning:

Don’t talk to us about looting. Y’all are the looters. America has looted Black people. America looted the Native Americans when they first came here. Looting is what you do. We learned it from you. We learned violence from you. So if you want us to do better, then, damn it, you do better.

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Watch Mallory’s full speech below.

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