Metro Councilman-elect Jecorey Arthur talks city unrest, problems for businesses

Metro Councilman-elect Jecorey Arthur talks city unrest, problems for businesses
Jecorey “1200” Arthur

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Local musician-turned-Councilman-elect Jecorey Arthur clarified comments he made in an Instagram post regarding the Breonna Taylor case. Arthur said on Friday that a decision in the investigation was due out “early next week.”

He later video and confirmed to WAVE 3 News on Friday night that he had heard the announcement was not expected next week and posted the video below:

“Peace, love and justice. This is your councilman-elect, Jecorey Arthur for Louisville Metro Council District 4,” Arthur says. “I’m getting a whole lot of phone calls, emails, letters about businesses concerned. Let me be very clear. I can’t tell the future. I don’t know what Daniel Cameron is going to come out and say. I don’t know what protesters are going to do. If you are that concerned about your business, then put boards up. But don’t be naive enough to believe that those boards are going to hide the fact that you don’t hire black people. Those boards aren’t going to hide the fact that you don’t carry black products. Those boards don’t hide the fact that you aren’t very welcoming to black people in your business. You can put boards up all day long but they do not hide racism. Your board’s going to protect your glass, but it won’t protect your ...”

WAVE 3 News’ Taylor Durden talked at length with Arthur about his intentions for the video and how he wants his message to come across to the public. Read it below:

  • Q: “You posted a video today to Twitter and Instagram. Talk about the video itself and what you were hoping the message would be from that?”
  • A: “So my phone has been ringing off the hook for the past few weeks, specifically in regards to the protests, even before the past few weeks and going into the election and being Louisville’s youngest Metro council person. Mayor Fischer himself and his administration have been calling me for guidance on the protests and the way that the city is handling the response to Breonna Taylor’s murder. So I’m used to get any phone calls, but specifically in the past week or so as we start to hear more rumors, which I shared one earlier about an announcement coming out regarding Brianna Taylor’s case, business owners are starting to get wary of their businesses which rightfully so. We’ve seen a number of protests happen, where people have boarded up businesses, they spray painted BLM on businesses. But what people are failing to realize is that those boards Do not hide deep, deep, deep racial discrimination that exists in this city, a city that I truly believe and I told BBC News. is the capital of American racism, because what those boards are trying to mask and hide is the fact that you never cared about black lives before these protests started happening. And in the video that I posted, I gave three specific examples, which aren’t necessarily requirements to not be a racist business, but they are definitely three checkboxes that you should think about when you open a business and you’re trying to serve the city. One of which was hiring black people, making sure that your employees reflect and look like our city . Two would be having black products. So if you’re having a boutique, if you’re an artist, if you’re selling arts, whatever the case may be making sure that you’re embracing black business and black economics. And then three, just simply being welcoming of black people. The 60s was a fight where we fought to just simply be welcomed in spaces that weren’t meant for us. But when you fast forward today, just because the whites-only signs are taken down from the brown theater, the whites only signs are taken down from the schools, we still feel that sense of racism. It happens constantly. And downtown Louisville is no different from that. So my video was just simply a way of reminding you the racism still exists just because you put that board up.”
  • Q: “You said you have been getting lots of phone calls, text messages since you posted that video. What has reaction been like for you from in the community, business owners, since you posted that today?”
  • A: “Oh, the reactions were exactly what I almost thought they would be. White Louisville has a guilty conscious. My favorite Malcolm X quote is that if you stick a knife nine inches in my back and pull it out six that’s not progress. If you pull the knife all the way out. That’s not progress. It’s only once we begin to heal the wound, that we see progress. We haven’t healed the wound, we haven’t taken the knife out. And so many people in the city and across this country don’t acknowledge that the knife is there. So when I remind people of that pain, when I remind people of the illusion of inclusion that we see on a daily basis, I think that guilty conscience comes out in full form. So many people have tried to defend themselves in my messages and on my phone. But if you have black people who are hired at your business, or if you carry black products, or if you’re simply welcoming to black Louisville, you wouldn’t be offended by that video. But because you are offended that lets me know that one of those three or all of those three indicators, lets me know you have never cared about black lives.”
  • Q: “What do you want people to know that I haven’t asked you, especially heading into tomorrow?”
  • A: “We, as a city, are thinking about an acting on committing to four month solutions for a 400 year problem. And when I say that, I’m thinking about even some of our allies that are donating their time and donating their dollars left and right, that are being vocal about racism, which is all very important, but long term, we need to be thinking about plans and solutions that are going to fix everything that’s happening now. And the true testament to what that is, is people putting their money not their own personal money where their mouth is, but the federal government that implemented segregation that implemented slavery and needs to respond to that through cash payment reparations. Specifically for the American descendants of slavery and making a right something that they have wrong for centuries and centuries and centuries. Because allegedly, based on what WAVE 3, has reported, that so many people were critical of, is that Breanna Taylor was involved in drug trafficking. Well, if she had reparations, and she had over a quarter millions of dollars worth of wealth, she wouldn’t have to resort to drug trafficking; Alton Sterling wouldn’t have to resort to selling fake CDs; George Floyd wouldn’t have a counterfeit dollar he wouldn’t have tested positive for COVID-19 and be unemployed. We need to be fixed in the same way that we were broken. And what white people in Louisville don’t realize is that we didn’t do the breaking. But somehow we get asked to do all the fixing. So when businesses call me, not only is it annoying, it’s also disrespectful. Because if you have perpetuated white supremacy your entire life, and then you turn around and ask me to fix it, you must be out of your mind. And if you think I’m going to be a politician, and sit back and tell you what you want to hear, you have me wrong.”
  • Q: “A pretty big part of your district will be downtown. And so much of downtown was damaged in May. We’re heading into another weekend where some [business owners] are afraid that it may happen again. What would you say?”
  • A: “Well, I have three point that’s very important for these business owners to hear. And I will actually talk to some of them personally and directly over the weekend and next week. One, you have to stop blaming black people for a problem that we didn’t create. And that’s not only due to white supremacy, that’s due to COVID-19. Because so many businesses that utilize elevators, you’re not going to open up in the way you were anyway. Just because we have a global pandemic and a disease that is spreading, you’re not getting on 30 flights of stairs just to go to work every morning. So be very wary of the fact and understanding of the fact that COVID-19 is probably more so to blame than any of the protests. And as we saw, we only had one to two nights of protests where damages really took place, and we’re really hurting economically downtown. So that’s one. Two, going back to the root of my video. If you were already fighting for racial justice, you wouldn’t be worried about your business being tampered with. The protesters aren’t wild animals. The protesters are mothers. The protesters are students. The protesters are people who care about justice, Justice for Breonna Taylor and beyond. If something is happening in downtown Louisville, it’s not by accident. It’s not based on emotions. We are definitely frustrated, but we are very intelligent people. We are very targeted and intentional people. So don’t think just because we’re frustrated about what’s happening with the police, your business is going to be destroyed. But best believe if you’ve done right by us, you have nothing to worry about. And the third point: a number of the businesses that I have talked to that agree with what I’m saying, including businesses that are white-owned like Another Place Sandwich Shop, have expressed they aren’t worried about damage to their buildings because they have insurance. And keep in mind that even if you don’t have insurance, your building being destroyed can be rebuilt. You can reestablish your business. We can make that happen through COVID funds through city funds, all of that, which I’m more than welcome, more so going to support when I’m in office for sure because I’ll be picking up a lot of these pieces figuratively and literally. But I want people to realize your insurance is going to help put your business together and bring it back. We will never have Breonna Taylor back and that’s why people are in the streets.”

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