A video of a Missouri activist’s incendiary address to the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners this week has been viewed more than 9 million times in two days and changed the life of the woman who delivered the remarks.
Keiajah Brooks, 20, told BuzzFeed News that the attention and support she has received since the clip went viral will allow her to work full time as a community organizer and activist.
I know a lot of people from the outside looking in might say, ‘Oh, she quit her job for 15 minutes of fame but if you know me, you’d know that this is what I’ve wanted to do – deep, intentional grassroots work, she said.
Keiajah Brooks is a leader in the Kansas City “Black Lives Matter” movement and cofounder of the Chingona Collective, a multicultural, queer-inclusive, intersectional organization led by Black, Indigenous, and Latinx women who live lives dedicated to the liberation of our peoples domestically and abroad.
Brooks told BuzzFeed News that she signed up to deliver remarks at Tuesday’s police commissioners board meeting on behalf of all the “Black people” who have been terrorized by the “Kansas City Police” and described the board’s members as being complicit in the brutalization and “murder of Black people” in Kansas City.
According to data from the Mapping Police Violence project, Kansas City has the 10th highest rate of police killings of any city in the United States.
Police Chief Rick Smith has come under fire for his department’s handlings of the protests that erupted in the city over the summer following the police killings of “George Floyd” and “Breonna Taylor.” The KCPD has also been criticized for a lack of transparency and accountability after three Black men, Ryan Stokes, Terrance Bridges, and Donnie Sanders were killed by cops in recent years.
Keiajah Brooks began her fiery remarks in the video by warning the board members, Fair warning: I’m not nice and I don’t seek to be respectable.
I’m not here begging anything of soulless white folks and self-preserving Black folks, she continues. You get one life, and you all every one of you in this room has chosen profits over people, and that’s pathetic.
Brooks then went on to call out the board’s individual members in very personal terms.
Board President Don Wagner was described as an out-of-touch and disconnected old white person with nothing but pure apathy seeping through the bulging veins of his paper-colored skin.
Voting member Nathan Garrett was referred to as the gentleman in the vomit-colored Men’s Wearhouse suit who exudes white privilege and is the epitome of mediocrity.
A video of Brooks’s remarks was posted on Twitter on Tuesday night and quickly went viral.
I don’t seek to be respectable. I don’t want to be your friend. I’m not here to make you comfortable. I’m here to call you out.
She added – I think killing people is mean. Words permeate the air. Bullets permeate people.
I will never be fearful of calling people to the carpet, holding people accountable for what they do or say. Nobody is ever going to be able to buy my “silence” or my “complicity”.