Activist Tamika Mallory has responded to Samaria Rice’s accusation that she’s a clout chaser who spoke out against injustice for her own gain during her spoken word segment of rapper Lil Baby’s Grammy Awards performance.
The performance confronted issues of police brutality and featured a spoken word poem by Mallory. Mallory responded on her podcast, saying “we all have failed her,” adding that she is open to having a conversation with Rice.
On March 19, Samaria Rice, the mother of Tamir Rice, and Lisa Simpson, the mother of Richard Rishner, released a joint statement accusing Black Lives Matter activists of profiting off of police killings of Black youth. Rice was 12 when he was shot and killed by an officer in Cleveland in 2014, and Rishner was 18 when he was gunned down by police in 2016.
“Tamika D. Mallory, Shaun King, Benjamin Crump, Lee Merritt, Patrisse Cullors, Melina Abdullah and the Black Lives Matter Global Network need to step down, stand back, and stop monopolizing and capitalizing off our fight for justice and human rights,” the statement said.
“We never hired them to be the representatives in the fight for justice for our dead loved ones murdered by the police.”
The formal statement came after Rice took aim at Mallory on Facebook after the Grammy Awards performance. “Look at this clout chaser,” she said in the post. “Did she lose something in this fight i don’t think so. That’s the problem they take us for a joke that’s why we never have justice cause of sh-t like this.”
The Grammys performance begins with a depiction of police brutality. Later, Mallory delivers a spoken word poem calling for justice, equity and policy changes following a year of heightened awareness of police brutality.
Mallory responded to Rice’s criticism on her podcast.
“From my perspective I want to make sure that as a mother, that I speak directly to Ms. Rice and also just so that folks know, I have reached out through some other individuals. I don’t have any contact for Ms. Rice but I have reached out and let some other folks know that if she wants to speak with me I’m available to do so,” Mallory said.
“I feel like we all have failed her. As a nation, I think that whenever a child or any person, but particularly a child, is killed, this nation should have erupted.”
Mallory added that she doesn’t use the names of deceased individuals killed by the state if she hasn’t worked with the families directly.
“Other than potentially calling the roll of all of the people that we can think about at any particular time that have been killed by the state, I have been very very careful — have always been careful — not to speak about cases or individuals that I have not worked directly with the families,” Mallory said.
Mallory said she was hurt by Rice’s comments but understands the pain and anger the mother must feel over the unjust killing of her son.
Tamika Palmer, the mother of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor, who was killed by Louisville police last year, released a statement announcing that she stands by Mallory.
“The family of Breonna Taylor fully supports and stands with Tamika D. Mallory and Until Freedom, just as they have with us,” Palmer said on Instagram.
On an episode of “The Clay Cane Show” last week, Rice admitted she could have gone about criticizing Mallory differently.
“I could’ve said it different. Tamika, I didn’t have to call you out your name, but baby girl, you out of pocket. You out your lane,” Rice exclaimed.
“I did what I did, I said what I said. Could I have said it in a different way? Yes I could’ve,” she remarked on the radio show. “Yes I could have, but at the time, it got me angry. And, here we go once again. Maybe you should have the mothers on the stage with you, Tamika, as a family.”