Why We Protest

Community activist Jasiri X: “As a young black man I’m always going to fit the description. I’ve been criminalized."

Jasiri X

Robert Graner

PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - Protests are continuing a week after the death of 17-year-old Antwon Rose.

To help understand more about the protests in Pittsburgh and why they are taking place, rapper and activist Jasiri X joined the KDKA Radio Morning News on Tuesday.

Jasiri opened up about the stereotype towards young African-Americans.

“As a young black man I’m always going to fit the description. I’ve been criminalized. You know if you look at studies that show how police officers respond, they always see black men as older and more threatening,” he said.

Jasiri talks about Rose and the mindset he displayed growing up.

“He wrote a poem called I’m Not What You Think where he talked about being confused and afraid as a young black man, growing up in America and growing up in the city of Pittsburgh.”

He goes on to say the police officer involved in the shooting deserves punishment.  

“He shot an unarmed man in the back three times so I don’t understand why the onus is put on a 17-year-old child and not the adult that supposedly was trained that violated his order to serve and protect,” Jasiri said.

He continued, “We want to see him convicted. Charging isn’t enough. We want to see [East Pittsburgh police officer Michael] Rosfeld convicted of the murder.”

Jasiri, along with others, started a group called 1Hood in response to the violence within and against the African American community.

“Pennsylvania led the nation in community violence and Pittsburgh had a higher per capita rate than even Philadelphia. We started the organization 1hood actually to begin to work in our community and use art and culture to build bridges and unify our communities.”

For more information or to support 1hood click here.

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