Gloss Rags founder and creator of the “And Counting” t-shirt Randi Gloss has been working to ensure the names of black men and women killed by police and race crimes aren’t forgotten. The Black Lives Matter activist recently spoke to ESSENCE.com about how she feels about the latest killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and what she feels the next steps are for the movement.
ESSENCE: As someone who has been on the forefront of the Black Lives Matter movement and in contact with families that have been hit with tragedy, what are your first thoughts about the most recent killings?
Randi Gloss: I’m devastated. I wanted to reach out to Uncle Ron, Jordan Davis’ father yesterday after witnessing Alton Sterling’s 15-year-old son break down sobbing. I wanted to ask him what it feels like, as a father to see this happen over and over again–to see other fathers slain and to see sons losing their fathers. These murders are incredibly blatant and I’m thankful that the DOJ reacted quickly and took over the investigation into Baton Rouge. Last night, I fell asleep just before the news of Philando Castile broke. This morning, it felt like I was waking up to a nightmare. There’s too much bloodshed. Too much.
ESSENCE: We’re all in a state of grief right now. Wearing the names of the men and women whose lives have been taken is an immensely powerful statement. Spreading the word via social media is also a great tactic as far as information goes but what else can be done? What do you think the next steps are?
Randi Gloss: David Banner said that white supremacy respects the loss of life and the loss of finance. I do not think our communities are on the verge of inflicting violence upon police or white people in general because we’re far too wounded and more importantly, we’re not fueled by volatile conscious and unconscious biases or hatred. At this point, we’re seeking actions that go beyond marching and protesting. I think that the CampainZero.org is a great place for us to start as far as addressing the police departments and issues within our communities. We also need to make sure that they do not forget the pain that we’re going through and the trauma we’ve suffered since it’s clear that they have no idea what it feels like.
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