CNVS 02_NYT Final Script_150429
Start time: 00:00:00
Rakesh: Racism means basically like…
Miles: A large, a large part of uh…a race feels that they’re superior to another race and so and so not only do they believe that but they act on it.
Malik: Examples would be in class sometimes I’d be the only black kids and we’d read a book like, I don’t know, Huck Finn and then there’s that uncomfortable moment…the “magic” word would come up and people look at you like “What’s his reaction?” Things like that.
Miles: I was walking home from school with this one white girl and we had just gotten off the bus and we were about to, we were almost home and there were these groups of black kids that had just gotten out of school. She was like “Oh, let’s cross the street, there’s a group of black kids. I don’t want to run into them.” And so she told me…which, I don’t even know why she would do that.
Marvin: I used to wear a sweatband like just to reinforce my wrist and I had a teacher come up to me and say, “You should take it off because it looks gang affiliated.”
Shaq: I’ve been in situations you know where I’ve had to cross the street because I didn’t want to scare the white lady that was walking.
Marvin: I would actually, it would get to the point where I would start to count how many times a woman would clutch her bag.
Bisa: When I was 16, I was leaving my mom’s house in my pajamas, which had snowmen on them um, with my brother and we were actually stopped by the police rather aggressively.
Jumoke: I’ve been stopped by the cops on my way between classes, because we have two separate buildings, walking from one building to the other building. As my white students in the same class walk by me.
Malik: It’s kind of upsetting because we live in a world where my mom has to be afraid when I walk outside from the people that are like meant to protect me and I just, I don’t like when my mother feels like that you know, I love my mother. She should always, I want her to always be happy…
Bisa: You know I walk tall, I keep my head up, very you know, try to be very articulate and and polite…um and so of course I was like “Okay I’m going to be fine because I act a certain way.” And of course that has absolutely nothing to do with it. Um, people, the way people perceive you you know, is not up to you.
Jumoke: My parents taught me oh you know, “Cops are your friends, you’re supposed to, you know they’re here to protect you.” But all I’m seeing is the opposite. So how can I not be afraid when I feel like I’m being hunted? When I feel like I’m there to fill a quota?
Shaq: We are in a so-called free society and as a black man we literally don’t feel free. We don’t know “freedom” is.
Jumoke: Every time we’re killed, the first thing you see on the news is: criminal record. Or something like that. So from the second the bullet hits us, already we’re starting to be dehumanized.
Malik: Black people like myself, we don’t get as many chances as they do so you have to be aware and you have to watch out and you can’t mess up.
Bisa: This was an extremely emotionally taxing process for me in terms of coming to terms with maybe…the nature of of racism in my own life and in this country and in this world and if you wait until somebody is 12, 13, 14 to put that on them…it’s…it’s really, it can be really difficult.
Malik: My dad, he’s just like the honest one he’s like “Listen son, like, there are things in this world that you have to, you kind of have to watch out…” He doesn’t want me to live in fear, but he wants me to be aware.
Maddox: I want people to know that I’m perfectly fine and I’m not going to hurt anybody or do anything bad.
Rakesh: I should be judged about like who I, who I am and like and what kind of person I am.
Marvin: My parents would tell me, especially my mom, she would tell me, you have to endure. You have to muscle through it. And like, this is no different, it’s a part of being a person of color in America.
Bisa: And there’s a certain comfortability associated with that because if I know that something is inevitable then I know how to deal with it. Fortunately, I’ve had parents who have said “this is what you do.”
Marvin: Mom and dad, I’ll be fine because you did a good job raising me. You gave me all the resources and the time and the blood, sweat and tears to make a good man, an honorable man and the foundation to survive in this country.
Myles: I want you to know that I will act in an appropriate manner and do everything that you told me to do because I do love you and I know that everything you say is for a reason and not just to talk the talk. And I love you.
DIRECTED & PRODUCED BY: Joe Brewster / Perri Peltz
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Rudy Valdez
SOUND: Chase Horton
EDITORS: Geeta Gandbhir / Clare Vance
CONSULTING PRODUCERS: Blair Foster / Geeta Gandbhir / Michele Stephenson
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER: Clare Vance
THANK YOU: Rakesh / Miles / Malik / Marvin / Shaq / Bisa / Jumoke / Maddox / Myles
End time: 00:04:57
Music: “Rolling Emotions,” Composed by Adam Dennis (PRS) and Bob Bradley (PRS), Library: Bruton TV Series (BTV). Track ID: BRU_BTV_0146_01301