Talking Back

 

Talking Back

Young people talk to Shooting Without Bullets about Arts & Culture, Politics, and Police Reform.

 
 
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Javier, Musician, Tri-C.

Can you talk about the transcendent power of art?

I think that art puts you inside a place that its timeless where you create off of your energy. Art puts you energetically in a different position than most people. Mentally you are in a different situation. You’re not really on this plain. You feel illusive. It’s a great conquest that everybody needs to travel down. Art in Cleveland is beautiful and its becoming even better. Getting kids involved in it is the best thing that you could possible do. For such a long time kids weren’t being looked after by the community as much as they should have been. Because of this neglect young people today have to regain their power. What you see in Cleveland, Detroit and New Orleans is a side of the coin where the 20 and 30-year-olds are doing things to fix this.

 
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JB, Artist,  John Hay Cleveland School of Architecture & Design

Do you think the police understand your culture?

I don’t think people understand my culture the way they think the do. I think that the police are not trained to handle a lot of situations that would actually go down in a black community or at least a black personality. Like the situation where a police officer body slammed a little girl at her school. I think that was kind of weird because he literally slammed her and all she was really doing was being loud and rowdy. An officer should be trained to deal with that. But a lot of officers don’t know how to handle black people. Its more than just hating black people its just being ignorant.

 
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Will, Attorney, Columbia University School of Law

What does stop-and-frisk signify for you?

To be honest, I’ve been stopped and frisked myself. It was one of the worst experiences of my life. It’s already been deemed unconstitutional by the courts and it should be. There are ways to stop violence in our community but stop-and- frisk isn’t one of them. The idea that Donald Trump is trying to bring back stop and frisk scares me and it should scare the youth too. I suggest that you know your rights. Know what you can or can’t do when stopped by the police, what you can and can’t say and what they can and cannot say to you. It could be the difference between life and death.