A Black activist has gained attention from political leaders on social media after a video of her pushing back against a CNN commentator’s claim that things will return to “normal” since President-Elect Joe Biden won the election went viral on Twitter.
Sydney Teese, a social activist who has been vocal about racial injustice, was filmed challenging the idea that Joe Biden’s impending presidency will cause a return to normalcy, in a video that was shared to Twitter by journalist Chuck Modi. The video, which was retweeted by Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar and Michigan Rep. Rashida Talib, and has been viewed more that 2 million times.
“When I hear things like, ‘Maybe we can finally get back to normal,’ I think ‘What was your normal?'” Teese said in the video, which was recorded by Modi at BLM Plaza in Washington at the street celebration that broke out there on the evening of Nov. 7, the day most news organizations declared Biden had won the presidential race.
Teese said she heard a CNN commentator make the remark about things returning to normal, but it is not clear which commentator made the comment.
“When Barack Obama was president, I was marching for Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner, fresh out of college.” She added, “We had people calling the first lady a ‘monkey’. Was that the normal we’re talking about? I’m confused.”
In response to people who believe that the “work is done” because Biden has been elected, Teese said, “the work is never finished, we’re still in the streets.”
Teese’s Instagram page shows her involvement in Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd.
“You’re only here for the moment,” Teese continued, after referencing the cross-country celebrations of Biden’s victory. “You really only wanted someone to be racist in hiding…You didn’t want it to be blatant, you didn’t want it to be in your face, and Donald Trump was in you’re face and he made ya’ll address the fact that America was f-cked up.”
“We still have to do the work to dismantle the system that is constantly oppressing Black, brown and indigenous people…we have to make them uncomfortable,” Teese said.
“Painful honest truths,” Representative Omar said in a caption above her retweet of the video.
In response to all the attention, Teese said she usually doesn’t speak publicly, and that she was thankful for the opportunity to share the message.
“I’m going to keep fighting for my people until I die. Until we get change. Change that doesn’t come from a government who oppresses you, while they smile in your face,” she tweeted.