Over the weekend, at least 7 million people watched Peggy Hubbard, a black grandmother, excoriate the Black Lives Matter movement in an emotional video posted to her Facebook page. 71,000 people liked the post. 16,000 people left comments. And discussions like this one on Reddit rippled out across the Internet.
Two breaking news events prompted the U.S. Navy veteran, who grew up in Ferguson, Missouri, to speak out and share her feelings. In the first, two white police officers killed Mansur Ball-Bey, a young black man. Police say that he tried to flee out the back door of the house where they were serving a warrant and that he pointed a stolen gun at them before they shot, a narrative that his family disputes. In the second news story, 9-year-old Jamyla Bolden was killed by a stray bullet from a drive-by shooting as she lay in her mother’s bed. The perpetrator is unknown.
Hubbard’s video commentary tied these disparate events together:
Last night, who do you think they protested for? The thug. The criminal. Because they’re hollering police brutality. Are you fucking kidding me? Police brutality? How about black brutality. You black people, my black people, you are the most violent motherfuckers I have ever seen in my life. A little girl is dead. You say black lives matter? Her life mattered. Her dreams mattered … Yet you trifling motherfuckers are out there tearing up the neighborhood I grew up in.
There is police brutality, she said, but people who believe that black lives matter ought to be protesting black-on-black murder:
You’re hollering this ‘black lives matter’ bullshit. It don’t matter. You’re killing each other. White people don’t care … You’re shooting at the police. They drop your ass. ‘Oh, he died due to police brutality.’ 327 homicides later y’all want to holler police brutality? Black people, you’re a fucking joke. You’re tearing up communities over thugs and criminals.
She had thousands praising and excoriating her. “I had a lot of positive feedback from a lot of people from my black community to keep going,” she wrote in a follow-up post. “I also had a lot of negative feedback from people in black communities.” On Saturday, after more reflection, she posted a new video. She began by apologizing for her profane language. “That is not me,” she said, explaining that she was very upset “because of the deterioration of our society and our neighborhoods, and losing that little girl. As a mother, as a wife, as a grandmother … I have a grandchild that age, and it broke my heart, because what if it was mine?”