Mother of Tamir Rice: ‘Racism is a Disease’

Samaria Rice discusses justice for Tamir, racism, and the need for unity in her keynote address at Kent State's annual commemoration of the 1970 shootings

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On Wednesday, Tamir Rice’s mother, Samaria Rice, was the keynote speaker at Kent State’s annual commemoration of the 1970 campus shootings.

[Related: The Man Who Killed Tamir Rice]

On May 4, 1970, the National Guard shot and killed four Kent State students during a mass demonstration on campus. Nine others were injured, some of whom were merely passerbys not participating in the protests.

In 2014, Samaria Rice’s son, Tamir, was brutally gunned down by a police officer who had previously been deemed unstable by his superiors. Tamir was only 12 years old.

During her speech, Samaria Rice shared the harrowing details of her discovery of her son’s murder, calling it “the most horrific day” of her life.

Although the Rice family and the city of Cleveland recently reached a settlement which mandates the city pay $6 million to the Tamir Rice estate, Samaria Rice assured the crowd that she wasn’t going anywhere.

“My job is to make them [government and police officials] uncomfortable” Rice said. “I don’t sugar-coat anything. I can’t be bought and sold. I’m the real deal Holyfield.”

However, the overwhelming theme of Rice’s speech was the urgent need for unity.

“It’s the only way change will occur,” she said. “Racism is a disease. You aren’t born with it. You are taught racism. We’re still looking for a cure for racism like other diseases.”

Check out some scenes from her speech below:

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Samaria Rice speaks during Kent Srate May 4th commermoration. <a href=”https://t.co/UyYAhlWYOz”>pic.twitter.com/UyYAhlWYOz</a></p>&mdash; Harry Boomer (@HarryBoomer19) <a href=”https://twitter.com/HarryBoomer19/status/727921581389918208″>May 4, 2016</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Truly honored today to have heard Samaria Rice speak at Kent State&#39;s May 4th commencement!! Only forward from here <a href=”https://t.co/CylVJJ1jcU”>pic.twitter.com/CylVJJ1jcU</a></p>&mdash; Manago (@Emanuel_MannyJ) <a href=”https://twitter.com/Emanuel_MannyJ/status/727972525079207940″>May 4, 2016</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Salute to Samaria Rice, for speaking at the May 4th Commemoration today! <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/JusticeForTamir?src=hash”>#JusticeForTamir</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/KentState?src=hash”>#KentState</a> <a href=”https://t.co/heaxpvhJvu”>pic.twitter.com/heaxpvhJvu</a></p>&mdash; Vicious M.Ed (@ViciousFord) <a href=”https://twitter.com/ViciousFord/status/727968140638949377″>May 4, 2016</a></blockquote>

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One Response to Mother of Tamir Rice: ‘Racism is a Disease’

  1. Bill Smith 999935 says:

    Fighting racism is a noble cause, but it had nothing to do with her son’s death.

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