Sep 1, 2020
Family of Jacob Blake Holds Event in Kenosha Transcript September 1
The family of Jacob Blake held an event in Kenosha, WI on September 1—the same day of President Trump’s visit. Rev. Jesse Jackson spoke at the event. Read the transcript of their remarks here.
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Justin Blake: (00:00)
… Soon. We fought a long, hard battle. We’ve been through slavery, Jim Crow, civil rights and all that. And we’re now pressing to the forefront of Vice President Biden and Sister Harris that we want documentation. We want a platform for African Americans, how you are going to put it on table. We want legislation. We want bills, and we want laws that are going to address and help African Americans around the world and specifically, in the nation that we live in, be able to operate functionally and not have the conversation of, Be careful. Be aware of the officer when he pulls you over. Do what they say, because some of the parents that we’ve met in D.C. With Reverend Al Sharpton last weekend, did what the officers said, and they still didn’t make it home.
Justin Blake: (00:51)
So it’s not a matter of compliance. It’s a matter of accepting us and loving ourselves and putting it to the world that it’s 2020, the matrix are falling and the gig is up. We’re no longer going to tolerate this. As a community, we’re going to work together. We’re going to put aside our differences. We’ll agree to disagree, and we’re going to rebuild our community. And yes, we expect and anticipate and want monies from outside that have walked away from our communities for over 50 years plus, and that’s why they look the way they do. So we need help in that regard. We thank you all for the prayers for little Jake, again, his mother, Julia and my brother, Jake. Yeah, we’re asking people not to be violent, not to destroy our community.
Justin Blake: (01:40)
But in the same breath, we’re asking them to stand with the Blake family. Come on over here. We’re not mad at you. We understand you’re angry and upset, and we can see why you would want to burn something down, but we’re asking you not to. That fist that you put up in anger, we’re asking you to raise up high in unity and come onboard with the Blakes. We going to make some big changes that affect all the little Jakes around this nation so their parents can let their children go outside the door, play in the yard, go down the street, drive the vehicle and not have to worry about police officers that might do them in, that might disallow them from getting back to their families or shoot them in the back seven times.
Justin Blake: (02:23)
So we’re here today in our community, not only healing our family, the Blake family, but this is our family. Kenosha’s our family now. And we want to help them heal as well. And we thank y’all for being here. Big ups to the red, the black and the green. Love ya. Thank you.
That’s right. Thank you, brother. Thank you. We love you, too.
Justin Blake: (02:43)
We don’t have any words for the orange man. All I ask is that he keep his disrespect, his foul language far away from our family. We need a president that’s going to unite our country and take us in a different direction.
That’s right. That’s right, brother. He has come today.
Justin Blake: (03:00)
It’s a free country. We can go anywhere we want. We want the same rights he got and we want to be able to get our children home safely, because they should be able to go anywhere in this nation and come back home safe and not get shot seven times.
That’s right, brother. Trump/Pence out now.
Bishop Tavis Grant: (03:16)
My name is Bishop Tavis Grant. T-A-V-I-S, G-R-A-N-T. I’m the national field director for Rainbow PUSH. We are glad to stand and feel it an honor and a privilege to stand with the Blake family and the Kenosha family. We’ve been here several days, organizing with leaders and social activists and street activists, and we’re proud of them today choosing nonviolence, choosing non confrontation and choosing community service. CHoosing COVID-19 voter registration, choosing the Census and testing as a productive, proactive means. Today we have here in Kenosha, to stand with the Blake family, the president and founder of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Reverend Jesse Louis Jackson.
Reverend Jesse Jackson: (04:04)
We met with Mrs. Blake yesterday. She came to the Rainbow office in Chicago. She came with big Jake yesterday. [inaudible 00:04:17] we decided that we would not demonstrate today. We don’t want to be used as a commercial for Trump’s visit. Today is COVID-19 day. We’re dying from this disease. We should wear masks, sanitize and we fight back the [inaudible 00:04:43] census and voter registration today.
Reverend Jesse Jackson: (04:48)
Also in this city, we find there are zero black firemen, three black police in Kenosha. Losing our jobs, losing opportunity. I mean, zero black firemen, three black policemen, five black deputy sheriffs, zero contracts. See, it’s not just only about Blake being shot. It exposes inequality. So we cannot just be free, we must also be equal.
Reverend Jesse Jackson: (05:28)
Today we’re going to do five [inaudible 00:05:32]. One, we’re going to do community clean-ups, voter registration, COVID-19 testing in the community today and census count. The President’s coming. I wish he’d come in reconciliation. He attempts to justify the kid that did the shooting. He’s given inspiration to the militia. The militia gains strength from his words. He offered no consolation to the two young men who got killed. He should. We urge him to do something. Questions?
Justin Blake: (06:15)
Questions from the media?
Speaker 6: (06:18)
The attorney for Jacob Blake has said that there is a video of a different angle that would show the entire thing. Have you guys seen it or are you guys aware of it?
Reverend Jesse Jackson: (06:22)
The video is important but he was shot in the back seven times. He was shot in the back [inaudible 00:06:35] he was shot in the back. That’s enough video. He’s in the hospital now with holes in his body. That’s the reason it matters. It’s a pattern. It’s black and brown in Ferguson, it’s [inaudible 00:06:48] in New York. [inaudible 00:06:48] It’s a pattern of killing, and we deserve equal protection under the law. We’re not getting it.
Speaker 7: (07:03)
Is there any status update or medical condition on Jacob? How is he doing?
Reverend Jesse Jackson: (07:06)
He’s doing better today.
Justin Blake: (07:07)
He’s doing better today. He’s starting to slowly but surely get his vibrance back. He’s able to reach out and hold and touch his mother and talk to his father. He’s still in severe pain and still paralyzed from the waist down after being shot seven times in the back. And only he can make it through. Who could survive that? And that he has his personality coming back, that’s the start of his recovery. And I’m sure we’re asking the country and the world to pray for a full recovery. Why ask for half a prayer? We’re going to ask for it all. We want to see little Jake walk out of there.
Reverend Jesse Jackson: (07:44)
While he lay in the bed, seven shots and eight holes in his body, handcuffed to the bed, the killer, the shooter is sick and in pain without paying the price. Attempted murder, he should be indicted and those who are responsible for killing [inaudible 00:08:10] and Hubert [inaudible 00:08:10] should be indicted. Justice must work for all the people. It must work for everybody.
Justin Blake: (08:15)
After talking to the mayor today, directly after speaking to our brother, I asked my brother, what did he want us to say? What was his demands from the mayor? And we want indictment immediately. It shouldn’t take this long. Our family’s pressing for indictment, and we’re not leaving the Kenosha area until we get it.
Speaker 8: (08:33)
Justin, if Vice President Biden Comes to Kenosha, do you believe the family will meet with him?
Justin Blake: (08:40)
Vice President Biden, and sister Harris had a prolonged conversation with our brother the other day. And I’m sure they will make time to greet them. We appreciate everything they’ve extended, from what they could do at this particular time, has been great. And the answer would be yes.
Speaker 9: (08:59)
Can you elaborate on the conversation they had with Jake?
Justin Blake: (08:59)
I’m sorry, It wasn’t on the phone. I was in the hotel room just coming back up. But it was about 30 minutes or so. And they hashed out some stuff. And being a political science major, I’m trying to push for laws and bills and legislation that will change and make this better.
Speaker 9: (09:15)
The President has said that he didn’t come because of attorneys involved, something he said like that yesterday. What was your conversation or communication with him, if at all?
Justin Blake: (09:25)
We had none whatsoever. So whatever they’re talking about is a ruse and that’s why we’re doing what we’re doing today, so they can’t take over the narrative. We’re going to keep things on Jacob Blake, getting justice and healing little Jake.
Speaker 10: (09:39)
Speaking of being a political science major, do you believe that Donald Trump-
Reverend Jesse Jackson: (09:44)
Just as [inaudible 00:09:44] in the chain of appeal, [inaudible 00:09:50] Hubert and Blake. In perspective, this young man killed two white, young people and blew another one’s arm off. He shouldn’t have been wearing a loaded weapon across state lines. He ran up behind the curfew. He came back and police [inaudible 00:10:12] him for assisting; gave him water and a high five. That kid, he ruined the rest of his life.
Speaker 11: (10:18)
Do you all believe that trip from Donald Trump here is a political move in any way? Do you believe that it is motivated by some sort of political meaning?
Justin Blake: (10:27)
Whatever his motivation is, we’re not engaging with that. We’re asking everybody here to stay focused on getting justice for little Jake. We’re staying focused on helping the Kenosha community get over this horrendous act that has taken place in their backyard. And that’s why we’re here today.
That’s right. Amen. That’s right.
Justin Blake: (10:49)
The kids, little Jake’s kids, my brother’s grandkids are with family members. We’re showering them with the love, with getting them therapy so they can begin the process of dealing with what they watched. And they’ve had a traumatic impact on their lives right now.
Reverend Jesse Jackson: (11:09)
Justin Blake: (11:09)
Hey, how you doing? Good to see you again.
Congresswoman Gwen Moore: (11:22)
I’m so happy to be inspired by the Blake family who wants us to keep our eyes on the prize. And the prize is, to do as Martin Luther King Jr. said so many years ago, to march on those ballot boxes to make sure that we provide leadership that loves mercy and justice. And that’s why we’re all here today. This is such a beautiful site. And Reverend Jackson, I’m so glad that you’re here. It’s an atmosphere where they’re giving kids free haircuts, they are registering people to vote, they’re giving free meals and just the sense of love and community. And you see infants here in their strollers totally peaceful. And it’s all about healing and bringing this community together before it was fractured by violence.
Congresswoman Gwen Moore: (12:16)
If the President of the United States, I mean, if he loves chaos, we are not going to create the backdrop for the violent chaos he wants to see. And this is the Kenosha that I know. I was born three miles up the road. This is the Kenosha that I know, and I’m joining them and celebrating the life of Jacob Blake. Just putting that out there in case the President wants to say anything. Say that name, he might have forgotten it by now.
Justin Blake: (12:50)
So again, we just want to say thank you to all of Kenosha that’s coming out to celebrate with us today. We want to say thank you to all you news crews for coming in and being with us on this day to help heal Kenosha, because something tragic happened here, and it’s changed the way people look at Kenosha. and we don’t want them, the outsiders, to think it was the Kenosha people, because it wasn’t. It was a police officer that was out of control. They shot our nephew seven times. We want justice for that, but we’re also trying to help Kenosha get over this tragic thing that happened in their backyard.
Justin Blake: (13:25)
So again, we thank you for being here. One Africa, unity for for everybody. And thank you again for showing up.
Speaker 13: (13:33)
Are other members of the family coming out to speak?
Justin Blake: (13:35)
Yes, they’ll be here later today.
Speaker 13: (13:36)
Thank you. Do you know what time?
Justin Blake: (13:39)
No, I’m not certain, but they will be here.
Speaker 13: (13:41)
Great. Thank you so much.