Days after Samaria Rice, the mother of slain Black teen Tamir Rice, called her out over her spoken word performance at the 2021 Grammy awards ceremony, activist Tamika Mallory has responded.
Mallory started off by saying that she tried to reach out to Rice to speak with her directly but was unable to reach her.
“I want to just make sure that we start off grounded in the fact that nothing we say today is an attack on Ms. Rice. Quite frankly, Ms. Rice is right,” Mallory continued. “I support 100% how she feels and what she has stated in terms of her pain in terms of her son. I feel like we all have failed her… The fact that she did not get the proper justice for her son would make anyone angry. So, I totally respect the pain and the trauma that she feels as a mother.”
Mallory denied Rice’s allegations that she had exploited her son Tamir’s death.
“I think it’s important to clarify whether we have used Ms. Rice’s child, her baby, in campaigns or in speeches, fundraising, we have not. Other than potentially calling the role of all the people who have been killed by the state. I have been very careful not to speak about cases or individuals that I have not worked directly with the families. Particularly in this situation, whereas Ms. Rice stated, we never even met.”
She added, “I would never be so disrespectful to speak about her child or have a campaign that uses her child or his name to uplift any cause. I think that’s really, really important to state.”
Mallory added that she would be mindful of Rice’s wishes moving forward and be careful not to disrespect the memory of her son.
During a recent appearance on The Clay Cane Show, Rice confessed that she could have expressed her outrage over the appearance differently.
“I could’ve said it different. Tamika, I didn’t have to call you out your name, but baby girl, you out of pocket. You out your lane… I did what I did, I said what I said. Could I have said it in a different way?” she mused. “Yes, I could have, but at the time, it got me angry. And, here we go once again. Maybe you should have the mothers on the stage, with you Tamika, as a family.”