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Cabarrus Magazine

'Up Front' Takes on Race Relations in Powerful Episode

Jun 09, 2020 12:39PM ● By Jason Huddle

Episode 62: Real Conversations About Race Relations (Pt. 1)

 

Jason Huddle  00:00

Just ahead on a very powerful and important episode, Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine,

 

Sam Dozier  00:05

When we recited the Pledge of Allegiance yesterday, we say I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice. I'm cool right there but don't say for all if it doesn't mean me

 

Jason Huddle  00:21

We have some real conversation about the racial divide that is gripping our country, and even our region in these turbulent times.

 

Addul El Ali  00:29

What I'm saying essentially, is that the things that we should be up in arms and and angry about as as a black community, are the things we're celebrating. We put on a whimper in them getting out of jail t shirt, instead of saying, why are we mad that kooky selling crack waas on us?

 

Jason Huddle  00:49

Join me as I sit down with two African American members of our community to gain perspective and have an honest conversation about how we got here. What we can do and what the future looks like. Welcome to part one on our conversation on race relations in Cabarrus County. This is Up Front with a Cabarrus Magazine, a presentation of Cabco Media Group and sponsored by Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group, Cabarrus Arena and Event Center, Cabarrus Eye Center, Certec Automotive, Concord Downtown Development Corporation, Family Wealth Partners, New Hope Worship Center and Walk Cabarrus. I'm your host, Jason Huddle.

 

Jason Huddle  01:38

Welcome my friends to Episode 62 of Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine. I'm going to go ahead and warn you that this is going to be a long one. We've covered some important topics on this show over the last almost year and a half. But these next two episodes are probably the most important and poignant that we've ever done. The Death of George Floyd opened up a wound again in this country when it comes to racial equality and injustice. I am a white male, I don't understand what it's like to be black. I'm not going to apologize for that. But it's a fact of life. And the only way for me to gain perspective on that is to invite members of the African American community in and listen to what they have to say. And that's exactly what I did. Joining me on the show today are two members of our community Sam Dozier, who if you've ever been to an event at Great Wolf Lodge and the convention center area, you've probably seen Sam or even met him. He is highly esteemed in this industry and in this community. He heads up that entire banquet department and he does a fabulous job I've known Sam for many years, we also invited Abbul El Ali. He is a Republican, African American in our community. And he also hosts his own podcast called the urban conservative. He has a unique perspective from Sam's, which is why I wanted them both to come in. Sam grew up in the projects of St. Louis. Ali did not even though they are both African American gentlemen. They don't necessarily agree on some topics that we're going to discuss today. I should also mention that Sam and Ali were very gracious and gave me their time. Our original conversation took several hours, and this was going to be probably even possibly three episodes. Unfortunately, that conversation was lost due to some stupid mistakes on my part, but they were very gracious in coming back in for a second interview and having this discussion all over again. And I want to thank them for that. I would like to offer a word of warning that you may hear some language or that the subject matter discussed, or even some language used, might be offensive or cause some people to give pause. I also want to mention that there are opinions stated here that are solely those of the person speaking, they are not necessarily those of Cabco Media Group, its affiliates or our advertisers. Now, having said that, I also want to say that because of the importance of this episode, I'm not going to do shameless plug time. I'm not going to worry about any of that. I'm going to go to our break. And then when we come back, Sam and Ali will be in studio with us for this very important question. Trust me, you do not want to miss it. Stay tuned.

 

Commercial  05:04

 

 

Jason Huddle  06:14

Welcome back to the program. As I mentioned at the top of this episode, this is actually a take two I have in the studio with me, Sam Dozier and Addul El Ali. And we actually sat at this table 24 hours ago, little over 24 hours ago and had a three and was Sam four hour conversation about race relations. It was in depth, it was intense, and it was very eye opening for me. And then we lost the entire recording. So we are here to do a take too. And I certainly appreciate you guys coming in and your graciousness in this whole thing. So thank you very much.

 

Addul El Ali  06:57

(Inaudiable)

 

Jason Huddle  06:59

So The advantage of this though, is because we had this long conversation, I got a chance to see where each of you stand on things and get your perspectives. And Sam, one of the most poignant things that was said yesterday afternoon that didn't get caught on the microphone anyway, but it was very impactful for me was actually my mom walked in to the right office. And she had, she started having a conversation with the three of us. This is after you had left Ali, and she asked because she's a 70 something year old white woman, and she was talking to Sam and she said, Sam, tell me what I can do for you. As a white woman, what do you want me to do? And Sam answered, in a very gracious way. And to paraphrase him, because I'm not going to be able to quote him verbatim, but basically to paraphrase Sam, he said, I want you to stop trying to fix it and just listen. Just listen to my perspective and what I have to say and empathize with me. Yeah, that's what you're looking for. And at the end of the day, this entire four hour conversation in my mind, I just sat back and I was like, wow, I get it. I totally get it. And I think that's generally what everybody wants, right? You want to be heard, right? The problem is, we're all busy talking so much that we're not listening to anybody else.

 

Addul El Ali  08:44

Thats Right.

 

Jason Huddle  08:45

I think that's pretty clear social media. But I was reading social media today. And I had a totally different perspective. Because of our conversation yesterday. I had a totally different perspective on what what things were being said. So I thank you for that. But it kind of sets the tone for this whole conversation that we're going to have, again. Because I am here to listen, I'm here to ask questions. But I'm also here to listen, as a white male. As somebody who has not experienced growing up as a African American person, I am here to listen. And I want to know what you guys think.

 

Sam Dozier  09:29

Let me touch on that. Why is very important to listen for anything in any type of situation. We talked a little bit about this yesterday as well, when we were all together. And we talked about, you know, some people want to answer and then some people want to solution, you know, now, if you just want the answer, that is just the what. Meaning that it is strictly that you can get an answer by looking on someone else's paper and then write down what they wrote down and you have the answer. But that only you understood the question at all on how to solve the problem, which is very important, because now you just have the what, but when you want when you are getting a solution, then you have to understand the equation. Meaning you need to know the what the why, the how, the when, and the where, when you are talking about something that we're talking about right now, it's going to be take more than just the what. So that's the fix that I'm talking about. When people are trying to fix something. Normally, if someone fixes something is kind of like repairing it, right? You know, are sometimes it's just that bandaid on something. But that doesn't take care of the core of what made this what it is whatever that is. So in order for healing to happen, it has to go below the surface. And that's mostly what people are on there on the surface. They want the quick fix. They want to say well, how do we solve this? How do we do it? That's how we fix it. It's what you normally hear how you fix it? Cuz they say how you solve it, that's totally different. Because then you can start giving key ingredients to solve whatever kind of situation, whatever kind of problem. And that's important. So listening is one of those tools. That's one of the things that you have to have that. Because if you can hear a car coming down the street, but if you listen, you might not get hit. But hearing won't stop you from getting hit. You have to listen. No, you can look, but do you see something? So these are things that you got to go beyond what that first thing is. So back to the listen important (Inudiable) being important is this. If someone is hurting, and that can be something that we can identify, let's use Oprah Winfrey for instance, Oprah, what two decades ago, told us about, you know, the being molested. She told us about being raped. And she told us about all the abuse that she went through and these were different times of her life, right? In order for her to help someone, someone had to listen to her first. But if someone were to combat it with questions that were premature, like if she's trying to explain her core feelings of what this did to her, the trauma that it brought to her, and we're trying to say, Oh, well, you know, yeah, you know, what I got a friend out was molested as well. It's kind of like we met before you start telling me about your experience. You're trying to understand the person's experience. You're not listening is basically what's happening because if you listen, you just might learn something. So when you're able to listen to a person's hurt and the pain, then that's when the empathy can come. When one feels that you empathize with it. We're not looking for sympathy. We're not talking about sympathize, were talking about empathize, right. If you can empathize with a person's pain. That doesn't have to be your experience. But that's their story. Whether that's their perception, we always been told perception is reality right? So if it's their perception, even if you think let's say a company thinks that there's no problems, but the scores are saying otherwise. And you don't have a clue on what's going on, it might be because you weren't you probably were not listening. No, because this problem didn't take place today. This is something that was gradually gaining speed and momentum over the last four or five years or so. But then five years later, when it comes to a point where, hey, we have a problem, a problem doesn't start right there. A problem starts with being an issue that turns into a situation, that becomes a problem. So if you don't address the issue, then you have a situation. And if you're not paying attention to the situation, you're gonna wake up, you're gonna have a problem.

 

Jason Huddle  13:52

Is that where we're at now?

 

Sam Dozier  13:53

That's what we are right now.

 

Addul El Ali  13:55

I think that there's a couple of things and you know me, I kind of like to start over part a little bit. But I think that there's a especially in 2020. While I think that there's obvious progress that we've made as a country, I don't think anybody could deny the progress that we've made. I think a lot of the issues that we see on the racial front now are symptoms of a like you said of something that's a little deeper. But what is that deeper thing is that the the America was founded on racism thing is that when it really is, but and we talked about this yesterday, we can't take modern understandings of what races back then because they didn't look at race the same way back then the way we look at it now. I think the symptom, the symptoms of the violence, the riding the looting, the perception, like the brother said in some of the realities that people think they're living in, and I'm not saying that disrespectfully, I'm saying that from the perspective of people may not understand there's a different way to look at their own life. You got it, you know. So with with that, I think that the real core issue is a lack of education. And and not that education solves everything but I mean, fundamental American basic education isn't what it was when I was going to school and I was at the tail end of when it was changing those 80s. It's not the same ballgame. I think that education and how our education system has basically catered to, let's just call it subculture. You know, in we talked about this yesterday and teaching us Ebonics and the lies of omission about certain things that happened in our history, painting all of the founding fathers as these racist redneck slave owning tyrants that couldn't stand black. Like there's certain aspects of our history that I think by and large, we aren't taught. I think that's one one part of it. I think the other part of the race problem in America and we again, we touched on this a little yesterday and a paraphrase a really long complicated thing is I think the black identity, right what it means to be black in America got coopted by a certain class of people who then said this is the black experience, the well spoken, that ain't the black experience, right? Like you would look at Barack Obama's technically he didn't have what you would call the American black experience. But we identify him as one of us when he don't know nothing about nothing about none of the struggles we had here. So I think that that that the the difficulty is in one, an internal black conversation about what it means to be black in America in 2020 one to a real thorough change in how we teach American history and education. Acknowledging the falls, acknowledging the slavery acknowledging the horrible, terrible parts, acknowledging all of that, and then assessing where we are and going, well, we're not really actually in comparison. I just last night after our conversation, I went back because I'm always the type of person that I look for, I just need to know I like data. I like information, right? I like that. Let me find out what I can find out. And I found out that the United States of America has more African immigrants than any country in the world. So you're gonna have a hard time convincing me that this is the most racist and we take in more black people than black countries.

 

Sam Dozier  17:44

Literally

 

Addul El Ali  17:45

Literally, we take and back then. it was literally taken great

 

Jason Huddle  17:49

I have to laugh at that.

 

Addul El Ali  17:51

You can technically laugh

 

Sam Dozier  17:53

Put that out there.

 

Addul El Ali  17:56

But the dynamic is now for example, you have a thriving library and community. Think about Liberia think about what Liberia is. It's the country set up for freed slaves. They're coming back. So what does that say? And I mean, I know they love their country and they love it here too. But the dynamic is that we as a country, I think have moved really past that. I think that there have been some major pitfalls, whether and I said this yesterday, I take the nefarious they did it now I'm taking into nefarious conspiracy stuff out of it. Decisions were made in relation to policy, economic and and social in the 60s and 70s that had disastrous effects. None of us can debate that it had disastrous effects on the black community. What I'm saying now is that I think we've got to get to a point first within the black community, that we're acceptance of different worldviews, like if if my worldview or the way I view America doesn't exactly lined up with somebody from the projects. I'm not now less black, you know who and last thing I'll say on this is it reminds me of that Fresh Prince of Bel Air episode when Carlton was trying to get into fraternity and they were like, yo, he's not our kind of brother. He wears Brooks Brothers and he does this and he's like, wait a minute, he's more black. You know, we'll have to stand up for him. I think that we need a real world version of that episode of Fresh Prince in a political conversation amongst black people first. If you know when you talked about the story about how mom acts and what you can do to help. My immediate thought went to the Malcolm X movie, you remember Malcolm X with the Spike Lee movie?

 

Jason Huddle  19:36

I remember the movie. I'm gonna be honest, I never saw it.

 

Addul El Ali  19:38

So watch that movie. There's a scene in the movie where the white lady walks up to Brother Malcolm, and she goes, Malcolm, I know my ancestors did you wrong, and I'm sympathetic. What can a white person like me do to help and he looks at her and goes nothing, and walks away like and whoever the actress was. She did a good job because I I saw that clip crush, like it was like, ooh, if that was a really a real person that wanted to be beneficial to help somebody. So when we say, for example, and like, there's nothing you can do that there's things you can do, but what I'm saying is that nothing you can do is there's nothing you can do about the internal conversation that we have to have as black people about politics in america, right? Not all of us view politics through the lens of being oppressed. We don't all view it that way. I think that once we get if we could get our folks and we I think we had a little level of contention on this yesterday is and I and I think to clarify, What I meant is it goes like this, right? We can all admit that. There's not too many other places that we can pick like on the planet that you would rather live is a few, right? There's a few but there's not too many other places in regards to the level of freedom you have here.

 

Sam Dozier  19:44

As a black person is what your saying.

 

Addul El Ali  20:14

As any person, white, yellow, (inaudiable), black, red, that is I told people that I saw a challenge on Bing. He said, yo, if you find another country run by black people, and they've got a challenge out there that you would rather live in, then they'll buy you the ticket to go because you're not going to, yeah, it might be similar but it ain't this what I'm getting at the point that I'm trying to make is that we can look at where we are and appreciate it while being critical that there are still injustices that happen, but we have to put those things into a context that makes sense, right? Like I for me, now again, I'm saying for me, it does the numbers don't warrant me being scared leaving my house the numbers of police shootings, the number it doesn't for me, it doesn't warrant being shook. Now granted, I got a call last night after I think I got a brother got I'm not gonna say who but the bottom line was the police was behind them and he was scared. And I'm like, yo, this is a brother that never he just got his driver's license like he just in 40 something years old. Just got his license. So he's in panic mode like yo behind me. Like, what are you scared for? Think about what now let's stop for a second. And let's think about this. What do you have in your car that's illegal? Nothing. Do you have insurance? Yeah. You got your license now, right? Yeah. So those are those old pre licensed dinners you're having that there's nothing wrong with that so listen, if you do something wrong, and he turns the lights on, Ill wait, I stayed on the phone with him for 30 minutes. I wait with you. And I'll tell you what to do. If you get pulled over. It's real that fear that people feel when the cop again did I dare say some white folk even felt that feeling but we that's something we can get over. That's something we can as individuals if as brothers we can help each other get over?

 

Sam Dozier  22:49

Well, that's it's not easy to be fixed.

 

Jason Huddle  22:51

Before before you get into that, let me throw it to our first break. And then we'll come back and continue that discussion because I have a question regarding how African Americans feel about the police and why it is the way it is. Okay all right, so we're gonna throw it to break. We'll be back in just a few minutes.

 

Commercial  23:09

 

 

Jason Huddle  24:54

Welcome back we have some lively conversation during the break and at some point, I'm going to make all of this available to you guys, because I think people need to hear it. But we were talking about the relationship between the cops and the African American community. Now, during the break, Sam, you said something to the effect of, hey, look, I'm from the inner city of St. Louis. It's a completely different relationship than the Kannapolis police and the African American community in Kannapolis, I can tell you, okay, but here's my question. And I come from a very sincere place in asking this okay. Let me let me set this up for you. My son, my oldest son, when he was just shy of two years old, was severely bitten by a dog scariest, probably one of the most worst days of my life. Had to take him to the hospital. It was it was horrible. We asked the doctor after they had managed to get him sewed up and in the you know, he was in recovery. We asked the doctor, is he going to be afraid of dogs now? And the doctor said, that depends on you. If you freak out, every time you see a dog walking down the street, he's gonna freak out. but if you show him that not every dog is like the one that bit him, he will be fine. There's only one time I can remember. And it was within a few months after the dog biting, there was a dog walking down the street in our neighborhood that looked just like the dog that bit him and he freaked out. Other than that, he's we've always had a dog in our house. He's always been a dog person. He loves his dogs loves them. Because we didn't freak out. Every time a dog came down the street. we didn't cross the street. So my question is this from a very sincere place is the fear of the police in the African American community? Is that a taught behavior? Or is that a learned behavior? By experience?

 

Sam Dozier  27:08

That's great question. It's a great question. Let me first touch on the fear because most people think the fear of the police constantly being scared. I'm gonna tell you to guess that I know the people that I know, we're not scared of the police. But that doesn't make us not fearful for our life. You understand what I'm saying? And because we're not scared of the police, when we know that we didn't do anything to warrent you pulling us over, we just got pretty much just made the turn. Because I've had some experience since where I knew that I didn't do anything and the officer pretty much told me that he knew I did but he told me go fight it in court. And it was basically like, because this is what I do. This is my this is my area. Now you want to be the lucky one to need it, have at it. And I took it to court, and I'm gonna tell you exactly what happened. I took it to court this mean in Vegas, because I knew I didn't do anything because especially what he said I did. I just made a left turn and a red light, meaning I was at a complete stop. And he told me I was going 45 in a 35 or whatever, I just turn, there's no way in the world, I can get a car to go that quick, quickly, in that amount of time that I just made. It has been different. If I would have gone through the green light to make a turn, I got momentum. I know I was at a dead stop until the light change. He knew it. And when I said that he kind of hesitated. And then he told me, Well, I didn't call it, I took it to court. I told the judge that's exactly what he told me. I told him what the judge told me right. Now let me back up because in the beginning, the judge had so many people in the courtroom and you better believe that it was majority black people for these traffic tickets. The judge said I feel good today and this was one of the judges name with Seymour Brown. This is one to judge that everyone in Vegas knew about the one that you don't want to be in his courtroom. Right? We knew him that you don't want to be in this courtroom. He was having a good day. He said, So at this point, if anyone don't want to fight their traffic ticket, I'm going to take and he gave a percentage off and it was a great percentage. But because I was like, 18 19 years old. I know I didn't do anything. I say, I'm not going for taking some mouth. I want to tell you what he told me. So I was, if I wasn't the first one in court, I was like the third one there. I was the last one that they got too. So I already knew where this was going. He made me last. He had me tell my side and he did not look at me. After I told my side, that was still a pause in the air, because he wanted to make sure that I understood it didn't matter what you said. And I told them everything. This is all about with officer, let's say his name was officer Smith. He said officer Smith, where were you on the day of June 19. He goes I was on my post dadada this and the other. He said, Do you realize on June 19, that was my wife's birthday. He said, Oh, really? What did y'all do? He said, Well, we went and did this. And they intentionally had a conversation about something that was totally irrelevant about what we were right now. But he was sending me a message. And you know what he did, after they had that conversation about the wife's birthday and all of this in the courtroom? Tripled my fine. So pretty much I made up the fine for everybody that he kind of like, dismiss, you know, some, you know, took so much off, but he tripled mine. I remember that, that stays with me. And that's just one of many, many experiences that I've had with injustice, because still, I know that I didn't do anything, but because the officer knew that he can get away with it. He did it so this is what people are talking about in the black community. The system has to change because there's a systemic inequality standard that's going on right now. Now, if we understood that this was not for us, that'd be totally different. But we talked about this yesterday, the reason why we're pretty much like no, that's not fair. That's not right and I understand that maybe everything can be totally equal. But that's not what you tell us. That's not what you told us. Because when we recited the Pledge of Allegiance yesterday, we say I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice. I can cook I'm cool right there but don't say for all if it doesn't mean me.

 

Addul El Ali  31:41

Right

 

Sam Dozier  31:42

If you taught me all the way up to the for all part fine, we don't have any skin in the game. But if you tell me for all and that's what you are going down, you know, you're drilling down my throat, but every time I look around trying to get a house, and I'm not talking about my total experience right now because of course I've had some, you know, things that happen in my favor because there's some, you know, people that was in my favor. But you.

 

Jason Huddle  32:07

But your own hard work

 

Sam Dozier  32:08

Exactly. But we're talking about the people that are crying out right now. These are people that are in poverty, impoverished in areas, going to schools that we know been needing fixing, been needing some solutions to this thing, where it's just we understand that we understand what these school systems look like, we understand what these urban communities look like. All of this, that's a part of what contributes to the injustice and there's a systemic type of oppression that's been with us for so long. And that's dated all the way back coming all the way up. And we'll get into that because I'm gonna let my brother speak, but I definitely want to touch on how you know because we talked about the way we were starting to talk about the why, but now we need to talk about the how.

 

Addul El Ali  32:58

So so I think one of the things we got to look at to answer the question simply is yes, it's a learned behavior. And yes, a portion of that is ingrained. So who was taught that behavior? And who was the behavior ingrained in? So we could go all the way back to slavery and talk about the fact that there wasn't any fear of white people, right? Just period if there was a, that's just not up for debate. Not all black people were scared of all white people. But by and large, you know, it was a society, it was a time where whites were looked on as an inferior as a superior race. So there is even though, you know, you look at we talked about the Civil Rights Act of 1864. And all these other different laws that were passed, culture doesn't necessarily move at the speed of legislation. So, you know, it takes time for natural inclinations to change over time. One of the things that we have to look at though, and I think we'd be remiss not to kind of replay what we said yesterday in that when we talk about things like the black experience in America in relation to law enforcement and the black experience in relation to education, there's just not one linear flat way to look at history. When we look at economic history, we look at educational history, we look at legal history, we look at economic history, we look and see what factors contributed to that condition. So one of those factors is yes, we have a post slavery society where, during that time, a lot of pseudo scientific things in relation to race were being spread phrenology right like the idea that lumps on the skull, I've anything, yeah, these different sciences came out and kind of had an impact on that. One of the dynamics that we also have to understand is that there was a point in society where we looked at as a whole, we looked at American society as a whole looked at certain aspects of society with respect, right, there was a time when a butcher was a respected guy in a community. There was a time where the guy the mechanic was the respected guy in the community. The milkman was a respected dude. And the police officer was a respected guy. Black, white, yellow, red didn't matter.

 

Jason Huddle  35:15

Well, let's be honest. I mean, you know, over the last 20 years, the perception of the police officer has been a roller coaster and in 2011, policemen and firefighters were heroes, right? Yes, excuse me in 2001. They were heroes and then we had incidents happen, like Ferguson and things like that where police are being targeted well, and then two months ago, they were heroes, again, because they're frontline workers in this COVID. You know, this COVID pandemic and they're out there taking care of people, the policemen, the firefighters, health workers, all these people are being celebrated. And just like that, they fell from grace again, because of one cop.

 

Addul El Ali  35:57

Well, one thing I'll add to this is and then and I kind of buttoning it up with this. Is that the ingrained part comes from there's there's that residual messaging that came across I it's just not up for debate. Some of the marketing and advertising from the 20s and 30s was overtly anti black, but it's just that was horrible, right? But there's that which played into it. But then there's also this aspect of it. When other people produce your art when other people tell you what your culture is the Norman Lear's of the world told us what black culture was. They told us how black people speak. They told the idea that other people gave us what black. The interesting thing about this right? is black entertainment television is owned by the same people who own MTV who own (Inaudiable). It's a it's a conglomerate started out I believe Don remember Donnie Simpson and all of them. It wasn't bad, it wasn't, it wasn't a bad look. But the idea now that and when you look at it for the last, I don't know, 25 years since Bob. So there's been a long time since he sold it. You've had cookie cutter culture and we talked about this before, where you see major companies saying, look, we need to cater to this portion of the black community. This is black art. This is the way black people speak in Ebonics. They're not capable of speaking regular English, they got to speak. But you know, they're, they're oppressed people. They're less than they're not able to, they're automatically put down on the totem pole. And what I'm saying is we were fed through arts, through music, through film, through all of that stuff. We were fed and you know, everything said be antagonistic to the police. They're the enemy one of the biggest rap groups of all time was Public Enemy, right? Public Enemy, he didn't tell us to go be the power. They didn't say Go go go vote out the power. They said fight the power think about That what do you mean by fight? Because fight has a certain connotation. When you look at the imagery, what were they actually saying, right? What do we really get that? You know? So

 

Jason Huddle  38:09

Well NWA said it more directly and they did and at the police.

 

Addul El Ali  38:14

So whos idea was this that black people like gangsta rap who I thought about this after our conversation, right? And I thought about it and I was like, wow, see Delores Tucker was actually right, the lady that was running around, beat talking. She was like, yo, why y'all calling yourself (Censorsed)? Why y'all do she was actually correct. To an extent she was right. You can't have pride in yourself, if everything every image that you see of yourself, is this destructive? So I think that that part of it was the residuals of the way things broke down. Part of that was ingrained and part of that we owe to the degradation we talked about yesterday, the degradation of American culture and the lowering of standards. You know, we look at our what our standards for English, our standards for reading and our standards for standards for math is in comparison and some of these other countries. Not good, so, you know, I think we were suffering right now from a lowering of standards and the difficulty is in trying to get people to understand if you want to see that systemic change, right, you want to see systemic change, go fill out that BLET, go get that in, who's gonna protect your home better than you are, if you care about your home that much, right. So I think that that's one of the things that those, in my opinion are what led to where we got here. Yeah, it's ingrained, but some of it was taught and some of it whether on purpose or not, was taught to us by virtue of what we were told black culture is.

 

Jason Huddle  39:46

Fair enough, I'm going to throw it to one more break. And then when we come back, we will wrap up at least this, this part of the show, and then we're going to continue this conversation into next week's show. So if that's okay with you guys, so let me throw it to one more break. We're gonna pay a few bills, and we'll be back.

 

Commercial  40:03

 

 

Jason Huddle  41:54

Welcome back to the program. And as we finish up this episode. Guys I know Sam, right before the break, he was chomping at the bit to talk. So I'm just gonna let you speak. Go ahead.

 

Sam Dozier  42:10

I want to go back to the hownow. And it's based off of, you know, everything that you saw that we were just talking about, you know, how you was talking about where the police were this relationship between us and the police changed. Now, when we were, I'm 50 years old. So back in like between 75 and let's say 85, 75 and probably 82 ish, somewhere. The police they were a fixture in the neighborhoods in the communities. That's right we knew the officers, officer Smith. We knew they come out play football with us throw the ball not neccarily play but throw the ball and all this type of stuff. So they kept order because even with us doing whatever we may have been doing we straighten up when officer Smith came around. Smitty as a matter of fact, when he came around because he had to respect and this is a white officer. This is a white officer, but because he invested the time that was necessary to learn of the community, and then even when he saw us doing things that we shouldn't have been doing, he was not aggressive when he came up to question it. See, now, they don't even question anything anymore. They don't ask questions anymore. They come up demanding everything. So my thing is this, when you have been trained, some even have been in the military, and then some are, you know, old enough to be someone's father, of course. So you're gonna put the on us on a 15 year old to de escalate a situation, then a military veteran, that happens to be about 33 34 years old and have 20 years of whatever, you know, however many years experience, we're going to basically hold the 15 year old under the circumstances that the 15 year olds are in and we haven't got to that part yet, getting into that we're gonna look for them to be the ones to be the ones to de escalate a situation. But it's hard to de escalate a situation when the the when the police officers are coming in so aggressively. Now, yesterday, I asked you, have you ever received a traffic ticket? And you quickly just as quick as you just say it right there? He says sure. Because by asking a lot of people, no matter whoever I asked one, like that's gonna be the time that they said, it's gonna say sure, just like that. And I basically said, if I were to go into the inner city communities all around this country, and I asked them, have they ever been in handcuffs? They're gonna answer just as fast as you just answered about a traffic ticket. Because there are times where we're detained on the hood on hot hood of a car before they sift through what it is that they're here for. We don't understand what we've done. Anything we ask basically can and will be used against us before we even get to that part. It's like well, what I do what I do, and the more we ask the question because we know we haven't done anything, then they're just so aggressive and they come in with the, with the language, they come in with the tone, and they come in with guns out for regular traffic stop. Now, that may not be every experience, but it's been enough. And I guarantee if I go to these inner cities, and I ask the question, you're going to get probably about at least six out of 10 people, six out of 10 black people, that's gonna say, that's their spirit. But let me represent.

 

Addul El Ali  42:25

Why is it like that?

 

Sam Dozier  45:00

Well, that's right, right, exactly. So here it is. So now why is it like that? Now we come into the how. How did he get this way? Well, remember I said to 82 83. Everything was cool police officer. The relationships were great, right? Then you start talking about you mentioned you say Public Enemy. You mentioned NWA, right? NWA that was like about 86, 87, 88 relationships changed. The Rodney King beating was in 92. So that relationship did not go all the way up to 2000, now here's the here's the how right talking about the gang violence. There we go, we get into the how again. So now 88 George W, George HW Bush is in office, right? George HW Bush says some things like to (inaudiable) to Clinton when Clinton next, then Clinton put the like the three strike bill and all this. When did the when did the drugstore coming in? That was in your 84, 85, 86. If you talk about inner cities that can't afford their next meal for the most part, how are you want to afford drugs? How how you gunna afford guns? Who do you think brought them in? So these things are the systemic things that we've been talking about. When you do all of these type of things and you contribute all of these types of things that's going to start that oppression. People are going to do what you got to do and that's why we talked about yesterday in all inner cities, you're going to see pawn shops, liquor stores, cemeteries, and churches. every last one of those have a reason and a purpose, a reason and a purpose. So then when you have all of those you got access to to liquor, you already pulled the dad out of the house because the incarceration rate in America is more than what about 200 and some odd countries combined. If you're talking about black people make up 13% maybe now 14% of America, but we're what what are the rates like 37, 47 or whatever that percentage incarcerated. Now think about that. That's horrible, that's alarming. If we make up 13% of the population. And America has incarcerated more than 230 some people some countries combined, and we control who's incarca who we are the ones

 

Addul El Ali  47:57

(Inaudable)

 

Sam Dozier  47:58

How?

 

Addul El Ali  47:59

We're not driving around like, oh, theres is a black guy lock them up. Oh, this is black, we're not doing that here you will not and here's what I'm saying this this is and this is where I think the the black experience in the race conversation becomes so difficult because what happens is there are people who have experiences and you don't want to say that that experience isn't a real experience and it hasn't happened. But when we look at what really what the reality on the ground is, so I'll give you a prime example of what we were just talking about. When you look at how law enforcement has been done in this country by and large, the last I don't know hundred years. You put your cops where the crimes are, any good police chief will tell you this a pleasantly quiet neighborhood there's no need for me to invest manpower in scrolling this neighborhood because nothing ever happens over there in Mayberry but down the street in Jonesville you got robbery after robbery after this and after that and after this. So there's all of these police there. I think when we when we examined what lead up to the crime epidemic, the crack epidemic that hit and how to disallow disproportionately and and terribly disproportionate impact on black communities and was a major reason we got to the point of that 94 crime bill. What I'm saying essentially is that the things that we should be up in arms and and angry about as, as a black community are the things we're celebrating. We put on a when people getting out of jail t shirt, instead of saying, why why are we mad that kooky selling crack to our (inaudiable) on it was unfair. Why are we like for now I'm I'm saying this to say that the difficulty in the conversation the tough part about this is I was one of those people that if if I didn't know what I knew now, I'd still think that officer Blondie in Suffolk County did what he did to me because I was black for no other reason. Forget the fact that I was drinking 40 ounce in the middle of the street. Forget the fact that I had my pants hanging off not that any of these one things in and of themselves is enough. But other than the fact that I was smoking weed in public, other than the fact that I was in a car with a known drug dealer, like, you know what I'm saying? Now, let me tell it back then my mentality was, oh, that's the oppression of white men, and we can't naw wait a minute. I'm in a car with crack dealers. I'm, I'm in a car with no insurance, no registration. I'm drinking a 40 ounce in the middle of the street. Right, you know, so. Wow and I'm speaking to my particular circumstance, while I was in that, that way of thinking, I felt like oh, I'm the oppressed and that's the mentality, but in reality, 99 times 99% of the police interactions that happen every day. Nothing happens. We talked about this yesterday. 98% of the people that have been shot by the police and killed by the police. 98% of those people had a weapon so all I'm simply saying is while I think that there are there are systemic issues, you know, one of the biggest systemic issues we have with the police department, in my opinion is we don't have civilian review boards. Police shouldn't be allowed to investigate themselves, in my opinion, they should, they just shouldn't be allowed to do that. Right. That's one thing, second thing is if you don't live in that community or near that community, or haven't spent time, like you should be required. If there's a like we do our national night out event. We have churches have events around here in the community. If you don't live in that community, you should be required to do a certain amount of community service hours in that community. One of the things we found out when I did the Kannapolis area community survey about the police department, and you didn't know and just for the listeners, I didn't show Sam and I didn't show Jason that the survey. But the biggest failure that we found was what was called visual residential patrol that's out of the car, shaking hands saying hey, Miss Jones. Hey, Miss Johnson. How you doing? That what we were talking about that was one of the lowest scoring things that we find. Now great granted, we live in a safe county Cabarrus County is safe by a large, we don't got a whole lot of some stuff happened. But by and large is pretty safe. But the stories that I hear from people about their interactions with Concord police interactions with Kannapolis, police department, all I'm suggesting is that we look at ways to hold them accountable. And then when we when we say, all right, we understand that there's this bad relationship, we get it. You're like us for some reason. And we don't like y'all for some reason. Let's Let's just forget those reasons. But what's the way we hold you accountable? Because yall technically work for us, right? Who's the people that hire the police chief? Why is there nobody showing none of this energies around on city council election day, and those are the people who hired the dadgum police chief. Those are the ones who hire your city manager who like so I think that purposeful misdirection of our energy has occurred. A purposeful splitting of the black community occurred in saying, if you're, you're not really black unless you agree with this, you're not really black unless you've had this experience. And what I'm saying is, we've got to get to a point of saying no, all of these things are the black experience, not knowing anything. I know a lot of young black kids that have grown up in Cabarrus County that don't know ghetto life. They don't know nothing about it. They can act like they heard they can speak all the slang they want. But that's not your you ain't grow up in southern St. Louis, you grew up in naw, this ain't that. So I think that getting our young people, especially in the black community, away from glorifying criminalization, away from glorifying misogyny, away from glorifying the things that are counter culture that are counterproductive in our culture is a big part of it. And I think that building those relationships, telling young people at 17 about to be 18 years old. Stop saying after police and go be the police. You tired of police beating up people in your neighborhood, be the police and don't beat nobody up. Be that cop that Sam was talking about that knew Miss Jenkins and new Mr. Johnson and wanted to see his community do better. That's the you know, I'll leave that there.

 

Jason Huddle  54:15

One of the things that we've established both in our conversation so far today and also in yesterday's conversation was that certainly, the problem is systemic. And it didn't happen overnight. Yes, unfortunately, we're out of time for this episode. So here's what I'll do. I'm going to close out the program. But next week, we are going to continue this conversation on next week's episode. And we're going to pick up where we left off on the system. And what can be done? Not necessarily yes, for the big picture. There are things that need to happen. But the point of us talking is what can we as individuals do. So let me just tease that for next week's episode. You want to make sure that you tune in next week You have been listening to Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine. Presentation of Cabco Media Group we're sponsored by Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group, Cabarrus Arena and Events Center, Cabarrus Eye Center, Certec Automotive, Concord Downtown Development Corporation, Family Wealth Partners, New Hope Worship Center and Walk Cabarrus. Until next week, you guys show each other some love

 

Jason Huddle  00:00

Just ahead on a very powerful and important episode, Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine,

 

Sam Dozier  00:05

When we recited the Pledge of Allegiance yesterday, we say I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice. I'm cool right there but don't say for all if it doesn't mean me

 

Jason Huddle  00:21

We have some real conversation about the racial divide that is gripping our country, and even our region in these turbulent times.

 

Addul El Ali  00:29

What I'm saying essentially, is that the things that we should be up in arms and and angry about as as a black community, are the things we're celebrating. We put on a whimper in them getting out of jail t shirt, instead of saying, why are we mad that kooky selling crack waas on us?

 

Jason Huddle  00:49

Join me as I sit down with two African American members of our community to gain perspective and have an honest conversation about how we got here. What we can do and what the future looks like. Welcome to part one on our conversation on race relations in Cabarrus County. This is Up Front with a Cabarrus Magazine, a presentation of Cabco Media Group and sponsored by Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group, Cabarrus Arena and Event Center, Cabarrus Eye Center, Certec Automotive, Concord Downtown Development Corporation, Family Wealth Partners, New Hope Worship Center and Walk Cabarrus. I'm your host, Jason Huddle.

 

Jason Huddle  01:38

Welcome my friends to Episode 62 of Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine. I'm going to go ahead and warn you that this is going to be a long one. We've covered some important topics on this show over the last almost year and a half. But these next two episodes are probably the most important and poignant that we've ever done. The Death of George Floyd opened up a wound again in this country when it comes to racial equality and injustice. I am a white male, I don't understand what it's like to be black. I'm not going to apologize for that. But it's a fact of life. And the only way for me to gain perspective on that is to invite members of the African American community in and listen to what they have to say. And that's exactly what I did. Joining me on the show today are two members of our community Sam Dozier, who if you've ever been to an event at Great Wolf Lodge and the convention center area, you've probably seen Sam or even met him. He is highly esteemed in this industry and in this community. He heads up that entire banquet department and he does a fabulous job I've known Sam for many years, we also invited Abbul El Ali. He is a Republican, African American in our community. And he also hosts his own podcast called the urban conservative. He has a unique perspective from Sam's, which is why I wanted them both to come in. Sam grew up in the projects of St. Louis. Ali did not even though they are both African American gentlemen. They don't necessarily agree on some topics that we're going to discuss today. I should also mention that Sam and Ali were very gracious and gave me their time. Our original conversation took several hours, and this was going to be probably even possibly three episodes. Unfortunately, that conversation was lost due to some stupid mistakes on my part, but they were very gracious in coming back in for a second interview and having this discussion all over again. And I want to thank them for that. I would like to offer a word of warning that you may hear some language or that the subject matter discussed, or even some language used, might be offensive or cause some people to give pause. I also want to mention that there are opinions stated here that are solely those of the person speaking, they are not necessarily those of Cabco Media Group, its affiliates or our advertisers. Now, having said that, I also want to say that because of the importance of this episode, I'm not going to do shameless plug time. I'm not going to worry about any of that. I'm going to go to our break. And then when we come back, Sam and Ali will be in studio with us for this very important question. Trust me, you do not want to miss it. Stay tuned.

 

Commercial  05:04

 

 

Jason Huddle  06:14

Welcome back to the program. As I mentioned at the top of this episode, this is actually a take two I have in the studio with me, Sam Dozier and Addul El Ali. And we actually sat at this table 24 hours ago, little over 24 hours ago and had a three and was Sam four hour conversation about race relations. It was in depth, it was intense, and it was very eye opening for me. And then we lost the entire recording. So we are here to do a take too. And I certainly appreciate you guys coming in and your graciousness in this whole thing. So thank you very much.

 

Addul El Ali  06:57

(Inaudiable)

 

Jason Huddle  06:59

So The advantage of this though, is because we had this long conversation, I got a chance to see where each of you stand on things and get your perspectives. And Sam, one of the most poignant things that was said yesterday afternoon that didn't get caught on the microphone anyway, but it was very impactful for me was actually my mom walked in to the right office. And she had, she started having a conversation with the three of us. This is after you had left Ali, and she asked because she's a 70 something year old white woman, and she was talking to Sam and she said, Sam, tell me what I can do for you. As a white woman, what do you want me to do? And Sam answered, in a very gracious way. And to paraphrase him, because I'm not going to be able to quote him verbatim, but basically to paraphrase Sam, he said, I want you to stop trying to fix it and just listen. Just listen to my perspective and what I have to say and empathize with me. Yeah, that's what you're looking for. And at the end of the day, this entire four hour conversation in my mind, I just sat back and I was like, wow, I get it. I totally get it. And I think that's generally what everybody wants, right? You want to be heard, right? The problem is, we're all busy talking so much that we're not listening to anybody else.

 

Addul El Ali  08:44

Thats Right.

 

Jason Huddle  08:45

I think that's pretty clear social media. But I was reading social media today. And I had a totally different perspective. Because of our conversation yesterday. I had a totally different perspective on what what things were being said. So I thank you for that. But it kind of sets the tone for this whole conversation that we're going to have, again. Because I am here to listen, I'm here to ask questions. But I'm also here to listen, as a white male. As somebody who has not experienced growing up as a African American person, I am here to listen. And I want to know what you guys think.

 

Sam Dozier  09:29

Let me touch on that. Why is very important to listen for anything in any type of situation. We talked a little bit about this yesterday as well, when we were all together. And we talked about, you know, some people want to answer and then some people want to solution, you know, now, if you just want the answer, that is just the what. Meaning that it is strictly that you can get an answer by looking on someone else's paper and then write down what they wrote down and you have the answer. But that only you understood the question at all on how to solve the problem, which is very important, because now you just have the what, but when you want when you are getting a solution, then you have to understand the equation. Meaning you need to know the what the why, the how, the when, and the where, when you are talking about something that we're talking about right now, it's going to be take more than just the what. So that's the fix that I'm talking about. When people are trying to fix something. Normally, if someone fixes something is kind of like repairing it, right? You know, are sometimes it's just that bandaid on something. But that doesn't take care of the core of what made this what it is whatever that is. So in order for healing to happen, it has to go below the surface. And that's mostly what people are on there on the surface. They want the quick fix. They want to say well, how do we solve this? How do we do it? That's how we fix it. It's what you normally hear how you fix it? Cuz they say how you solve it, that's totally different. Because then you can start giving key ingredients to solve whatever kind of situation, whatever kind of problem. And that's important. So listening is one of those tools. That's one of the things that you have to have that. Because if you can hear a car coming down the street, but if you listen, you might not get hit. But hearing won't stop you from getting hit. You have to listen. No, you can look, but do you see something? So these are things that you got to go beyond what that first thing is. So back to the listen important (Inudiable) being important is this. If someone is hurting, and that can be something that we can identify, let's use Oprah Winfrey for instance, Oprah, what two decades ago, told us about, you know, the being molested. She told us about being raped. And she told us about all the abuse that she went through and these were different times of her life, right? In order for her to help someone, someone had to listen to her first. But if someone were to combat it with questions that were premature, like if she's trying to explain her core feelings of what this did to her, the trauma that it brought to her, and we're trying to say, Oh, well, you know, yeah, you know, what I got a friend out was molested as well. It's kind of like we met before you start telling me about your experience. You're trying to understand the person's experience. You're not listening is basically what's happening because if you listen, you just might learn something. So when you're able to listen to a person's hurt and the pain, then that's when the empathy can come. When one feels that you empathize with it. We're not looking for sympathy. We're not talking about sympathize, were talking about empathize, right. If you can empathize with a person's pain. That doesn't have to be your experience. But that's their story. Whether that's their perception, we always been told perception is reality right? So if it's their perception, even if you think let's say a company thinks that there's no problems, but the scores are saying otherwise. And you don't have a clue on what's going on, it might be because you weren't you probably were not listening. No, because this problem didn't take place today. This is something that was gradually gaining speed and momentum over the last four or five years or so. But then five years later, when it comes to a point where, hey, we have a problem, a problem doesn't start right there. A problem starts with being an issue that turns into a situation, that becomes a problem. So if you don't address the issue, then you have a situation. And if you're not paying attention to the situation, you're gonna wake up, you're gonna have a problem.

 

Jason Huddle  13:52

Is that where we're at now?

 

Sam Dozier  13:53

That's what we are right now.

 

Addul El Ali  13:55

I think that there's a couple of things and you know me, I kind of like to start over part a little bit. But I think that there's a especially in 2020. While I think that there's obvious progress that we've made as a country, I don't think anybody could deny the progress that we've made. I think a lot of the issues that we see on the racial front now are symptoms of a like you said of something that's a little deeper. But what is that deeper thing is that the the America was founded on racism thing is that when it really is, but and we talked about this yesterday, we can't take modern understandings of what races back then because they didn't look at race the same way back then the way we look at it now. I think the symptom, the symptoms of the violence, the riding the looting, the perception, like the brother said in some of the realities that people think they're living in, and I'm not saying that disrespectfully, I'm saying that from the perspective of people may not understand there's a different way to look at their own life. You got it, you know. So with with that, I think that the real core issue is a lack of education. And and not that education solves everything but I mean, fundamental American basic education isn't what it was when I was going to school and I was at the tail end of when it was changing those 80s. It's not the same ballgame. I think that education and how our education system has basically catered to, let's just call it subculture. You know, in we talked about this yesterday and teaching us Ebonics and the lies of omission about certain things that happened in our history, painting all of the founding fathers as these racist redneck slave owning tyrants that couldn't stand black. Like there's certain aspects of our history that I think by and large, we aren't taught. I think that's one one part of it. I think the other part of the race problem in America and we again, we touched on this a little yesterday and a paraphrase a really long complicated thing is I think the black identity, right what it means to be black in America got coopted by a certain class of people who then said this is the black experience, the well spoken, that ain't the black experience, right? Like you would look at Barack Obama's technically he didn't have what you would call the American black experience. But we identify him as one of us when he don't know nothing about nothing about none of the struggles we had here. So I think that that that the the difficulty is in one, an internal black conversation about what it means to be black in America in 2020 one to a real thorough change in how we teach American history and education. Acknowledging the falls, acknowledging the slavery acknowledging the horrible, terrible parts, acknowledging all of that, and then assessing where we are and going, well, we're not really actually in comparison. I just last night after our conversation, I went back because I'm always the type of person that I look for, I just need to know I like data. I like information, right? I like that. Let me find out what I can find out. And I found out that the United States of America has more African immigrants than any country in the world. So you're gonna have a hard time convincing me that this is the most racist and we take in more black people than black countries.

 

Sam Dozier  17:44

Literally

 

Addul El Ali  17:45

Literally, we take and back then. it was literally taken great

 

Jason Huddle  17:49

I have to laugh at that.

 

Addul El Ali  17:51

You can technically laugh

 

Sam Dozier  17:53

Put that out there.

 

Addul El Ali  17:56

But the dynamic is now for example, you have a thriving library and community. Think about Liberia think about what Liberia is. It's the country set up for freed slaves. They're coming back. So what does that say? And I mean, I know they love their country and they love it here too. But the dynamic is that we as a country, I think have moved really past that. I think that there have been some major pitfalls, whether and I said this yesterday, I take the nefarious they did it now I'm taking into nefarious conspiracy stuff out of it. Decisions were made in relation to policy, economic and and social in the 60s and 70s that had disastrous effects. None of us can debate that it had disastrous effects on the black community. What I'm saying now is that I think we've got to get to a point first within the black community, that we're acceptance of different worldviews, like if if my worldview or the way I view America doesn't exactly lined up with somebody from the projects. I'm not now less black, you know who and last thing I'll say on this is it reminds me of that Fresh Prince of Bel Air episode when Carlton was trying to get into fraternity and they were like, yo, he's not our kind of brother. He wears Brooks Brothers and he does this and he's like, wait a minute, he's more black. You know, we'll have to stand up for him. I think that we need a real world version of that episode of Fresh Prince in a political conversation amongst black people first. If you know when you talked about the story about how mom acts and what you can do to help. My immediate thought went to the Malcolm X movie, you remember Malcolm X with the Spike Lee movie?

 

Jason Huddle  19:36

I remember the movie. I'm gonna be honest, I never saw it.

 

Addul El Ali  19:38

So watch that movie. There's a scene in the movie where the white lady walks up to Brother Malcolm, and she goes, Malcolm, I know my ancestors did you wrong, and I'm sympathetic. What can a white person like me do to help and he looks at her and goes nothing, and walks away like and whoever the actress was. She did a good job because I I saw that clip crush, like it was like, ooh, if that was a really a real person that wanted to be beneficial to help somebody. So when we say, for example, and like, there's nothing you can do that there's things you can do, but what I'm saying is that nothing you can do is there's nothing you can do about the internal conversation that we have to have as black people about politics in america, right? Not all of us view politics through the lens of being oppressed. We don't all view it that way. I think that once we get if we could get our folks and we I think we had a little level of contention on this yesterday is and I and I think to clarify, What I meant is it goes like this, right? We can all admit that. There's not too many other places that we can pick like on the planet that you would rather live is a few, right? There's a few but there's not too many other places in regards to the level of freedom you have here.

 

Sam Dozier  19:44

As a black person is what your saying.

 

Addul El Ali  20:14

As any person, white, yellow, (inaudiable), black, red, that is I told people that I saw a challenge on Bing. He said, yo, if you find another country run by black people, and they've got a challenge out there that you would rather live in, then they'll buy you the ticket to go because you're not going to, yeah, it might be similar but it ain't this what I'm getting at the point that I'm trying to make is that we can look at where we are and appreciate it while being critical that there are still injustices that happen, but we have to put those things into a context that makes sense, right? Like I for me, now again, I'm saying for me, it does the numbers don't warrant me being scared leaving my house the numbers of police shootings, the number it doesn't for me, it doesn't warrant being shook. Now granted, I got a call last night after I think I got a brother got I'm not gonna say who but the bottom line was the police was behind them and he was scared. And I'm like, yo, this is a brother that never he just got his driver's license like he just in 40 something years old. Just got his license. So he's in panic mode like yo behind me. Like, what are you scared for? Think about what now let's stop for a second. And let's think about this. What do you have in your car that's illegal? Nothing. Do you have insurance? Yeah. You got your license now, right? Yeah. So those are those old pre licensed dinners you're having that there's nothing wrong with that so listen, if you do something wrong, and he turns the lights on, Ill wait, I stayed on the phone with him for 30 minutes. I wait with you. And I'll tell you what to do. If you get pulled over. It's real that fear that people feel when the cop again did I dare say some white folk even felt that feeling but we that's something we can get over. That's something we can as individuals if as brothers we can help each other get over?

 

Sam Dozier  22:49

Well, that's it's not easy to be fixed.

 

Jason Huddle  22:51

Before before you get into that, let me throw it to our first break. And then we'll come back and continue that discussion because I have a question regarding how African Americans feel about the police and why it is the way it is. Okay all right, so we're gonna throw it to break. We'll be back in just a few minutes.

 

Commercial  23:09

 

 

Jason Huddle  24:54

Welcome back we have some lively conversation during the break and at some point, I'm going to make all of this available to you guys, because I think people need to hear it. But we were talking about the relationship between the cops and the African American community. Now, during the break, Sam, you said something to the effect of, hey, look, I'm from the inner city of St. Louis. It's a completely different relationship than the Kannapolis police and the African American community in Kannapolis, I can tell you, okay, but here's my question. And I come from a very sincere place in asking this okay. Let me let me set this up for you. My son, my oldest son, when he was just shy of two years old, was severely bitten by a dog scariest, probably one of the most worst days of my life. Had to take him to the hospital. It was it was horrible. We asked the doctor after they had managed to get him sewed up and in the you know, he was in recovery. We asked the doctor, is he going to be afraid of dogs now? And the doctor said, that depends on you. If you freak out, every time you see a dog walking down the street, he's gonna freak out. but if you show him that not every dog is like the one that bit him, he will be fine. There's only one time I can remember. And it was within a few months after the dog biting, there was a dog walking down the street in our neighborhood that looked just like the dog that bit him and he freaked out. Other than that, he's we've always had a dog in our house. He's always been a dog person. He loves his dogs loves them. Because we didn't freak out. Every time a dog came down the street. we didn't cross the street. So my question is this from a very sincere place is the fear of the police in the African American community? Is that a taught behavior? Or is that a learned behavior? By experience?

 

Sam Dozier  27:08

That's great question. It's a great question. Let me first touch on the fear because most people think the fear of the police constantly being scared. I'm gonna tell you to guess that I know the people that I know, we're not scared of the police. But that doesn't make us not fearful for our life. You understand what I'm saying? And because we're not scared of the police, when we know that we didn't do anything to warrent you pulling us over, we just got pretty much just made the turn. Because I've had some experience since where I knew that I didn't do anything and the officer pretty much told me that he knew I did but he told me go fight it in court. And it was basically like, because this is what I do. This is my this is my area. Now you want to be the lucky one to need it, have at it. And I took it to court, and I'm gonna tell you exactly what happened. I took it to court this mean in Vegas, because I knew I didn't do anything because especially what he said I did. I just made a left turn and a red light, meaning I was at a complete stop. And he told me I was going 45 in a 35 or whatever, I just turn, there's no way in the world, I can get a car to go that quick, quickly, in that amount of time that I just made. It has been different. If I would have gone through the green light to make a turn, I got momentum. I know I was at a dead stop until the light change. He knew it. And when I said that he kind of hesitated. And then he told me, Well, I didn't call it, I took it to court. I told the judge that's exactly what he told me. I told him what the judge told me right. Now let me back up because in the beginning, the judge had so many people in the courtroom and you better believe that it was majority black people for these traffic tickets. The judge said I feel good today and this was one of the judges name with Seymour Brown. This is one to judge that everyone in Vegas knew about the one that you don't want to be in his courtroom. Right? We knew him that you don't want to be in this courtroom. He was having a good day. He said, So at this point, if anyone don't want to fight their traffic ticket, I'm going to take and he gave a percentage off and it was a great percentage. But because I was like, 18 19 years old. I know I didn't do anything. I say, I'm not going for taking some mouth. I want to tell you what he told me. So I was, if I wasn't the first one in court, I was like the third one there. I was the last one that they got too. So I already knew where this was going. He made me last. He had me tell my side and he did not look at me. After I told my side, that was still a pause in the air, because he wanted to make sure that I understood it didn't matter what you said. And I told them everything. This is all about with officer, let's say his name was officer Smith. He said officer Smith, where were you on the day of June 19. He goes I was on my post dadada this and the other. He said, Do you realize on June 19, that was my wife's birthday. He said, Oh, really? What did y'all do? He said, Well, we went and did this. And they intentionally had a conversation about something that was totally irrelevant about what we were right now. But he was sending me a message. And you know what he did, after they had that conversation about the wife's birthday and all of this in the courtroom? Tripled my fine. So pretty much I made up the fine for everybody that he kind of like, dismiss, you know, some, you know, took so much off, but he tripled mine. I remember that, that stays with me. And that's just one of many, many experiences that I've had with injustice, because still, I know that I didn't do anything, but because the officer knew that he can get away with it. He did it so this is what people are talking about in the black community. The system has to change because there's a systemic inequality standard that's going on right now. Now, if we understood that this was not for us, that'd be totally different. But we talked about this yesterday, the reason why we're pretty much like no, that's not fair. That's not right and I understand that maybe everything can be totally equal. But that's not what you tell us. That's not what you told us. Because when we recited the Pledge of Allegiance yesterday, we say I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice. I can cook I'm cool right there but don't say for all if it doesn't mean me.

 

Addul El Ali  31:41

Right

 

Sam Dozier  31:42

If you taught me all the way up to the for all part fine, we don't have any skin in the game. But if you tell me for all and that's what you are going down, you know, you're drilling down my throat, but every time I look around trying to get a house, and I'm not talking about my total experience right now because of course I've had some, you know, things that happen in my favor because there's some, you know, people that was in my favor. But you.

 

Jason Huddle  32:07

But your own hard work

 

Sam Dozier  32:08

Exactly. But we're talking about the people that are crying out right now. These are people that are in poverty, impoverished in areas, going to schools that we know been needing fixing, been needing some solutions to this thing, where it's just we understand that we understand what these school systems look like, we understand what these urban communities look like. All of this, that's a part of what contributes to the injustice and there's a systemic type of oppression that's been with us for so long. And that's dated all the way back coming all the way up. And we'll get into that because I'm gonna let my brother speak, but I definitely want to touch on how you know because we talked about the way we were starting to talk about the why, but now we need to talk about the how.

 

Addul El Ali  32:58

So so I think one of the things we got to look at to answer the question simply is yes, it's a learned behavior. And yes, a portion of that is ingrained. So who was taught that behavior? And who was the behavior ingrained in? So we could go all the way back to slavery and talk about the fact that there wasn't any fear of white people, right? Just period if there was a, that's just not up for debate. Not all black people were scared of all white people. But by and large, you know, it was a society, it was a time where whites were looked on as an inferior as a superior race. So there is even though, you know, you look at we talked about the Civil Rights Act of 1864. And all these other different laws that were passed, culture doesn't necessarily move at the speed of legislation. So, you know, it takes time for natural inclinations to change over time. One of the things that we have to look at though, and I think we'd be remiss not to kind of replay what we said yesterday in that when we talk about things like the black experience in America in relation to law enforcement and the black experience in relation to education, there's just not one linear flat way to look at history. When we look at economic history, we look at educational history, we look at legal history, we look at economic history, we look and see what factors contributed to that condition. So one of those factors is yes, we have a post slavery society where, during that time, a lot of pseudo scientific things in relation to race were being spread phrenology right like the idea that lumps on the skull, I've anything, yeah, these different sciences came out and kind of had an impact on that. One of the dynamics that we also have to understand is that there was a point in society where we looked at as a whole, we looked at American society as a whole looked at certain aspects of society with respect, right, there was a time when a butcher was a respected guy in a community. There was a time where the guy the mechanic was the respected guy in the community. The milkman was a respected dude. And the police officer was a respected guy. Black, white, yellow, red didn't matter.

 

Jason Huddle  35:15

Well, let's be honest. I mean, you know, over the last 20 years, the perception of the police officer has been a roller coaster and in 2011, policemen and firefighters were heroes, right? Yes, excuse me in 2001. They were heroes and then we had incidents happen, like Ferguson and things like that where police are being targeted well, and then two months ago, they were heroes, again, because they're frontline workers in this COVID. You know, this COVID pandemic and they're out there taking care of people, the policemen, the firefighters, health workers, all these people are being celebrated. And just like that, they fell from grace again, because of one cop.

 

Addul El Ali  35:57

Well, one thing I'll add to this is and then and I kind of buttoning it up with this. Is that the ingrained part comes from there's there's that residual messaging that came across I it's just not up for debate. Some of the marketing and advertising from the 20s and 30s was overtly anti black, but it's just that was horrible, right? But there's that which played into it. But then there's also this aspect of it. When other people produce your art when other people tell you what your culture is the Norman Lear's of the world told us what black culture was. They told us how black people speak. They told the idea that other people gave us what black. The interesting thing about this right? is black entertainment television is owned by the same people who own MTV who own (Inaudiable). It's a it's a conglomerate started out I believe Don remember Donnie Simpson and all of them. It wasn't bad, it wasn't, it wasn't a bad look. But the idea now that and when you look at it for the last, I don't know, 25 years since Bob. So there's been a long time since he sold it. You've had cookie cutter culture and we talked about this before, where you see major companies saying, look, we need to cater to this portion of the black community. This is black art. This is the way black people speak in Ebonics. They're not capable of speaking regular English, they got to speak. But you know, they're, they're oppressed people. They're less than they're not able to, they're automatically put down on the totem pole. And what I'm saying is we were fed through arts, through music, through film, through all of that stuff. We were fed and you know, everything said be antagonistic to the police. They're the enemy one of the biggest rap groups of all time was Public Enemy, right? Public Enemy, he didn't tell us to go be the power. They didn't say Go go go vote out the power. They said fight the power think about That what do you mean by fight? Because fight has a certain connotation. When you look at the imagery, what were they actually saying, right? What do we really get that? You know? So

 

Jason Huddle  38:09

Well NWA said it more directly and they did and at the police.

 

Addul El Ali  38:14

So whos idea was this that black people like gangsta rap who I thought about this after our conversation, right? And I thought about it and I was like, wow, see Delores Tucker was actually right, the lady that was running around, beat talking. She was like, yo, why y'all calling yourself (Censorsed)? Why y'all do she was actually correct. To an extent she was right. You can't have pride in yourself, if everything every image that you see of yourself, is this destructive? So I think that that part of it was the residuals of the way things broke down. Part of that was ingrained and part of that we owe to the degradation we talked about yesterday, the degradation of American culture and the lowering of standards. You know, we look at our what our standards for English, our standards for reading and our standards for standards for math is in comparison and some of these other countries. Not good, so, you know, I think we were suffering right now from a lowering of standards and the difficulty is in trying to get people to understand if you want to see that systemic change, right, you want to see systemic change, go fill out that BLET, go get that in, who's gonna protect your home better than you are, if you care about your home that much, right. So I think that that's one of the things that those, in my opinion are what led to where we got here. Yeah, it's ingrained, but some of it was taught and some of it whether on purpose or not, was taught to us by virtue of what we were told black culture is.

 

Jason Huddle  39:46

Fair enough, I'm going to throw it to one more break. And then when we come back, we will wrap up at least this, this part of the show, and then we're going to continue this conversation into next week's show. So if that's okay with you guys, so let me throw it to one more break. We're gonna pay a few bills, and we'll be back.

 

Commercial  40:03

 

 

Jason Huddle  41:54

Welcome back to the program. And as we finish up this episode. Guys I know Sam, right before the break, he was chomping at the bit to talk. So I'm just gonna let you speak. Go ahead.

 

Sam Dozier  42:10

I want to go back to the hownow. And it's based off of, you know, everything that you saw that we were just talking about, you know, how you was talking about where the police were this relationship between us and the police changed. Now, when we were, I'm 50 years old. So back in like between 75 and let's say 85, 75 and probably 82 ish, somewhere. The police they were a fixture in the neighborhoods in the communities. That's right we knew the officers, officer Smith. We knew they come out play football with us throw the ball not neccarily play but throw the ball and all this type of stuff. So they kept order because even with us doing whatever we may have been doing we straighten up when officer Smith came around. Smitty as a matter of fact, when he came around because he had to respect and this is a white officer. This is a white officer, but because he invested the time that was necessary to learn of the community, and then even when he saw us doing things that we shouldn't have been doing, he was not aggressive when he came up to question it. See, now, they don't even question anything anymore. They don't ask questions anymore. They come up demanding everything. So my thing is this, when you have been trained, some even have been in the military, and then some are, you know, old enough to be someone's father, of course. So you're gonna put the on us on a 15 year old to de escalate a situation, then a military veteran, that happens to be about 33 34 years old and have 20 years of whatever, you know, however many years experience, we're going to basically hold the 15 year old under the circumstances that the 15 year olds are in and we haven't got to that part yet, getting into that we're gonna look for them to be the ones to be the ones to de escalate a situation. But it's hard to de escalate a situation when the the when the police officers are coming in so aggressively. Now, yesterday, I asked you, have you ever received a traffic ticket? And you quickly just as quick as you just say it right there? He says sure. Because by asking a lot of people, no matter whoever I asked one, like that's gonna be the time that they said, it's gonna say sure, just like that. And I basically said, if I were to go into the inner city communities all around this country, and I asked them, have they ever been in handcuffs? They're gonna answer just as fast as you just answered about a traffic ticket. Because there are times where we're detained on the hood on hot hood of a car before they sift through what it is that they're here for. We don't understand what we've done. Anything we ask basically can and will be used against us before we even get to that part. It's like well, what I do what I do, and the more we ask the question because we know we haven't done anything, then they're just so aggressive and they come in with the, with the language, they come in with the tone, and they come in with guns out for regular traffic stop. Now, that may not be every experience, but it's been enough. And I guarantee if I go to these inner cities, and I ask the question, you're going to get probably about at least six out of 10 people, six out of 10 black people, that's gonna say, that's their spirit. But let me represent.

 

Addul El Ali  42:25

Why is it like that?

 

Sam Dozier  45:00

Well, that's right, right, exactly. So here it is. So now why is it like that? Now we come into the how. How did he get this way? Well, remember I said to 82 83. Everything was cool police officer. The relationships were great, right? Then you start talking about you mentioned you say Public Enemy. You mentioned NWA, right? NWA that was like about 86, 87, 88 relationships changed. The Rodney King beating was in 92. So that relationship did not go all the way up to 2000, now here's the here's the how right talking about the gang violence. There we go, we get into the how again. So now 88 George W, George HW Bush is in office, right? George HW Bush says some things like to (inaudiable) to Clinton when Clinton next, then Clinton put the like the three strike bill and all this. When did the when did the drugstore coming in? That was in your 84, 85, 86. If you talk about inner cities that can't afford their next meal for the most part, how are you want to afford drugs? How how you gunna afford guns? Who do you think brought them in? So these things are the systemic things that we've been talking about. When you do all of these type of things and you contribute all of these types of things that's going to start that oppression. People are going to do what you got to do and that's why we talked about yesterday in all inner cities, you're going to see pawn shops, liquor stores, cemeteries, and churches. every last one of those have a reason and a purpose, a reason and a purpose. So then when you have all of those you got access to to liquor, you already pulled the dad out of the house because the incarceration rate in America is more than what about 200 and some odd countries combined. If you're talking about black people make up 13% maybe now 14% of America, but we're what what are the rates like 37, 47 or whatever that percentage incarcerated. Now think about that. That's horrible, that's alarming. If we make up 13% of the population. And America has incarcerated more than 230 some people some countries combined, and we control who's incarca who we are the ones

 

Addul El Ali  47:57

(Inaudable)

 

Sam Dozier  47:58

How?

 

Addul El Ali  47:59

We're not driving around like, oh, theres is a black guy lock them up. Oh, this is black, we're not doing that here you will not and here's what I'm saying this this is and this is where I think the the black experience in the race conversation becomes so difficult because what happens is there are people who have experiences and you don't want to say that that experience isn't a real experience and it hasn't happened. But when we look at what really what the reality on the ground is, so I'll give you a prime example of what we were just talking about. When you look at how law enforcement has been done in this country by and large, the last I don't know hundred years. You put your cops where the crimes are, any good police chief will tell you this a pleasantly quiet neighborhood there's no need for me to invest manpower in scrolling this neighborhood because nothing ever happens over there in Mayberry but down the street in Jonesville you got robbery after robbery after this and after that and after this. So there's all of these police there. I think when we when we examined what lead up to the crime epidemic, the crack epidemic that hit and how to disallow disproportionately and and terribly disproportionate impact on black communities and was a major reason we got to the point of that 94 crime bill. What I'm saying essentially is that the things that we should be up in arms and and angry about as, as a black community are the things we're celebrating. We put on a when people getting out of jail t shirt, instead of saying, why why are we mad that kooky selling crack to our (inaudiable) on it was unfair. Why are we like for now I'm I'm saying this to say that the difficulty in the conversation the tough part about this is I was one of those people that if if I didn't know what I knew now, I'd still think that officer Blondie in Suffolk County did what he did to me because I was black for no other reason. Forget the fact that I was drinking 40 ounce in the middle of the street. Forget the fact that I had my pants hanging off not that any of these one things in and of themselves is enough. But other than the fact that I was smoking weed in public, other than the fact that I was in a car with a known drug dealer, like, you know what I'm saying? Now, let me tell it back then my mentality was, oh, that's the oppression of white men, and we can't naw wait a minute. I'm in a car with crack dealers. I'm, I'm in a car with no insurance, no registration. I'm drinking a 40 ounce in the middle of the street. Right, you know, so. Wow and I'm speaking to my particular circumstance, while I was in that, that way of thinking, I felt like oh, I'm the oppressed and that's the mentality, but in reality, 99 times 99% of the police interactions that happen every day. Nothing happens. We talked about this yesterday. 98% of the people that have been shot by the police and killed by the police. 98% of those people had a weapon so all I'm simply saying is while I think that there are there are systemic issues, you know, one of the biggest systemic issues we have with the police department, in my opinion is we don't have civilian review boards. Police shouldn't be allowed to investigate themselves, in my opinion, they should, they just shouldn't be allowed to do that. Right. That's one thing, second thing is if you don't live in that community or near that community, or haven't spent time, like you should be required. If there's a like we do our national night out event. We have churches have events around here in the community. If you don't live in that community, you should be required to do a certain amount of community service hours in that community. One of the things we found out when I did the Kannapolis area community survey about the police department, and you didn't know and just for the listeners, I didn't show Sam and I didn't show Jason that the survey. But the biggest failure that we found was what was called visual residential patrol that's out of the car, shaking hands saying hey, Miss Jones. Hey, Miss Johnson. How you doing? That what we were talking about that was one of the lowest scoring things that we find. Now great granted, we live in a safe county Cabarrus County is safe by a large, we don't got a whole lot of some stuff happened. But by and large is pretty safe. But the stories that I hear from people about their interactions with Concord police interactions with Kannapolis, police department, all I'm suggesting is that we look at ways to hold them accountable. And then when we when we say, all right, we understand that there's this bad relationship, we get it. You're like us for some reason. And we don't like y'all for some reason. Let's Let's just forget those reasons. But what's the way we hold you accountable? Because yall technically work for us, right? Who's the people that hire the police chief? Why is there nobody showing none of this energies around on city council election day, and those are the people who hired the dadgum police chief. Those are the ones who hire your city manager who like so I think that purposeful misdirection of our energy has occurred. A purposeful splitting of the black community occurred in saying, if you're, you're not really black unless you agree with this, you're not really black unless you've had this experience. And what I'm saying is, we've got to get to a point of saying no, all of these things are the black experience, not knowing anything. I know a lot of young black kids that have grown up in Cabarrus County that don't know ghetto life. They don't know nothing about it. They can act like they heard they can speak all the slang they want. But that's not your you ain't grow up in southern St. Louis, you grew up in naw, this ain't that. So I think that getting our young people, especially in the black community, away from glorifying criminalization, away from glorifying misogyny, away from glorifying the things that are counter culture that are counterproductive in our culture is a big part of it. And I think that building those relationships, telling young people at 17 about to be 18 years old. Stop saying after police and go be the police. You tired of police beating up people in your neighborhood, be the police and don't beat nobody up. Be that cop that Sam was talking about that knew Miss Jenkins and new Mr. Johnson and wanted to see his community do better. That's the you know, I'll leave that there.

 

Jason Huddle  54:15

One of the things that we've established both in our conversation so far today and also in yesterday's conversation was that certainly, the problem is systemic. And it didn't happen overnight. Yes, unfortunately, we're out of time for this episode. So here's what I'll do. I'm going to close out the program. But next week, we are going to continue this conversation on next week's episode. And we're going to pick up where we left off on the system. And what can be done? Not necessarily yes, for the big picture. There are things that need to happen. But the point of us talking is what can we as individuals do. So let me just tease that for next week's episode. You want to make sure that you tune in next week You have been listening to Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine. Presentation of Cabco Media Group we're sponsored by Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group, Cabarrus Arena and Events Center, Cabarrus Eye Center, Certec Automotive, Concord Downtown Development Corporation, Family Wealth Partners, New Hope Worship Center and Walk Cabarrus. Until next week, you guys show each other some love

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