Transcript, Web links and Credits below.
“Terrible things are happening outside… poor helpless people are being dragged out of their homes. Families are torn apart; men, women and children are separated. Children come home from school to find that their parents have disappeared.”
I could’ve written those words this week to describe the largest ICE raid in American history that took place in rural Mississippi, as nearly 700 people, most of them mothers and fathers, hard-working people, were snatched from their jobs and detained in the middle of the school day — only for their children to find out a few hours later when literally nobody came to school to pick them up. The kids had nowhere to go. Nothing to eat. Nowhere to sleep.
But no, those words were not written yesterday, they could’ve been, instead they were written on January 13, 1943, as the Holocaust neared, and a teenage girl named Anne Frank wrote those words in her diary, as she witnessed the very thing that is now happening on our watch.
Friends — we’re living in one of the most disturbing points in modern American history.
And how we respond will determine how long it lasts.
Let me unpack and explain where we are, then give us ACTION STEPS to take together.
Let’s dig in.
This is Shaun King and you are listening to (The Breakdown)!
To say that this week has been difficult is almost offensive. If you are listening to this podcast, your parents probably weren’t taken from you in an ICE raid in rural Mississippi. If you are listening to this podcast, your mother, father, son, or daughter probably wasn’t shot and killed by a white supremacist in El Paso, Texas. If you are listening to this podcast today, your friend Jimmy from Detroit probably wasn’t deported by Trump to Iraq, a country he had never stepped foot in, only for him die there, homeless, because he couldn’t get insulin — so yeah, it was a hard week, but truthfully I don’t think any words can describe the pain that so many people have experienced these past few days.
But let me tell you something — if we don’t organize ourselves out of here, this place we find ourselves in could last for years, it could last for decades, it could last for generations. I want you to hear the urgency in my voice. Systemic injustice doesn’t end on accident. It doesn’t end just with the simple passage of time. The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade lasted for 400 years. Tens of millions of people were bought and sold as property and then worked to death, for generations and generations. And it took a Civil War to end it.
The Holocaust took a World War to end. Jim Crow segregation took the most organized movement in American history to end and it cost many leaders their lives.
Today, I want a few other voices to do most of the talking, and then I’ll give us our Action Steps – because we need ALL HANDS ON DECK, OK?
The first voice I want you to hear is that of 11 year old Magdalena Gomez Gregorio in rural Mississippi as she speaks through her sobs to communicate the pain of what this government just did to her family. Listen as she wonders how she’ll have school supplies, where she’ll sleep, where she’ll eat.
(Audio Clip Here)
I’ve cried multiple times listening to Magdalena, but I want to be clear about something. She’s not asking for sympathy, she’s asking for help. Do you hear what I’m saying? It’s not enough to be upset alongside her, we have to help her directly, and we have to help make sure we change this system.
The next clip I want to play for you is from the streets of Iraq.
The primary voice you are going to hear is from 41-year-old Jimmy Aldaoud. He was born in Greece. When he was just 6 months old, all the way back in 1977, his parents moved from Greece to the United States. And for all 41 years of his life, Jimmy Aldaoud lived in Detroit, Michigan. Two months ago, the Trump administration did something unthinkably cruel, and it ultimately cost Jimmy his life. They deported this man, who had never stepped foot in Iraq for a single day of his life, they deported him by plane straight to Baghdad. Jimmy didn’t even speak Arabic. He couldn’t read the street signs, couldn’t read the menus. He’s not even a Muslim. He was raised Catholic. But the Trump administration deported him to Iraq anyway.
A severe diabetic — with no money, no job, and who couldn’t even speak the language — within days he became violently ill because he couldn’t find any insulin. Here’s Jimmy, trying to tell his story, before he died — all alone — in Iraq.
(Audio of Jimmy speaking)
It’s one of the most cruel, inhumane stories I’ve ever heard in my entire life. Jimmy’s body remains in a Baghdad morgue as his family tries to figure out how they can try to bury him back in his home — in Detroit — where he belongs.
Next, I want to play a clip that I think is one of the most moving and poignant messages from any American political leader from this past week. It’s from Beto O’Rourke — who was born and raised in El Paso, where 22 people were just slaughtered by a white supremacist with a weapon of war on Saturday — and he explains, in clear detail, just how bigoted the President of the United States is.
(Insert Beto Audio)
Then, lastly I am sorry to have to do this to you, but I want to play a clip of Donald Trump. He’s at the hospital in El Paso where so many victims from the shooting were taken, and, I kid you not, he’s standing next to the Chief of Surgery, speaking to hospital staff, and he starts bragging about the size of his crowd last year in a rally for Ted Cruz in his campaign against Beto.
Trump then leans over to the Chief of Surgery to ask him if he knows the name of the venue where he held the rally. And the Chief, who clearly didn’t go, doesn’t know.
Trump, then begins insulting Beto, calling him “Crazy Bey-do” and says he only had 400 people in a parking lot. In actuality, it was over 10,000 people in a park.
My friends – this is what we’re up against.
Which takes me to our action steps for today.
(Action Steps Music)
Today, I have two action steps for you to take.
1. Many of you have asked how you can donate to help immigrant families on the ground in Mississippi and I want to email you the link. If you are signed up for The Action PAC at TheActionPAC.com — you don’t have to sign up again, but if not, sign up now at TheActionPAC.com and this is where we email all of our action step details, ok? I’m also going to tell you the link now: ActBlue.com/donate/ms-raids — it’s a little wonky — that’s why I want to email it to you, but I’ll repeat it a few times.
And people on the ground in Mississippi approved this link. It’s split between the top organizations helping the families directly with needs including shelter, but also legal services.
2. On Monday, we are launching what I think is the most important political campaign in the nation. And we need all hands on deck. Tens of thousands of you have signed up to support this, but we need hundreds of thousands of volunteers.
We are launching the largest campaign in the nation to take back the Senate from conservatives at HowWeFlipTheSenate.com and we want you to sign up and join now ok?
Thank you all for making it all the way through this episode of The Breakdown!
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Take care everybody.
Produced by Willis Polk II
Additional production by Christian “Idrys” Shannon
Additional Instrumentation by Christian “Idrys” Shannon, Lance “Lance Fury” Powlis & Markeith Black
Additional Engineering by Amond “AJ” Jackson for Salem Psalms Library
Additional Vocals by Garnett “Natti” Bush & Jason Coffey
Scratches by Kenny “DJ FlipFlop” Vanderberg
Contains elements from:
“Ascension II” by The Off Daze