20-yr-old KJ Brooks named and shamed every official at a Kansas City police commissioner meeting

After years of advocating for racial justice and calling out police brutality and seeing little change in law enforcement and our justice system, some people are rightfully fed up. When complaints are met with inaction, protests are met with inaction, and direct action is met with inaction, maybe it's time to get specific in who needs to be held accountable for issues in law enforcement.

That's exactly what Keiajah (KJ) Brooks did at a Board of Police Commissioners meeting in her hometown of Kansas City this week. The 20-year-old used her approximately four minutes with the microphone—and with the commissioners' undivided attention—to unequivocally lay out her position to each and every one of the officials in that room.

"Fair warning, I'm not nice and I don't seek to be respectable," she began. "I'm not asking y'all for anything because y'all can't and won't be both my savior and my oppressor. I don't want reform. I want to turn this building into luxury low-cost housing. These would make some really nice apartments."

"Firstly, stop using Black children as photo opportunities, 'cause they're cute now, but in 10 years, they're Black male suspects in red shirts and khaki shorts," she said. "Eating cookies and drinking milk with children does not absolve you of your complicity in their oppression and denigration..." she added, before looking directly at the police chief and pointedly calling him out by name, "...Rick Smith."


She pointed out that Kansas City spends more on the police than on education, "and then try to encourage children to feast with their oppressors."

"Y'all are really weird," she added.

"It's asinine to be called radical or a homegrown terrorist for not wanting government employees to kill people in any instance," she went on. "So, I'm not here begging anything of soulless white folks and self-preserving Black folks. You get one life, and you all in this room have chosen profits over people. And that's pathetic. So, I'm going to spend the next two minutes reading y'all for filth, something I'm sure nobody has ever done."

And that's exactly what she did. One by one, Ms. Brooks named and shamed each member of the Board of Police Commissioners, in a dragging for the ages.

She addressed the "former FBI Agent who exudes white privilege and is the epitome of mediocrity" who "spent most of this meeting looking away and holding his head in his hands." She called out "another rich, and white, and out of touch, and disconnected old white person with nothing but pure apathy seeping through the bulging veins of his paper colored skin," adding, "You age like trash when you are racist and subject others to violence." She even took a pastor who preaches "a message of hope and faith through God's Holy word in the building" while "subjecting Black people to terrorism and un-Christ-like behavior at the hands of KCPD outside of the building" to church.

Ms. Brooks did not come to play.

Finally, to Police Chief Rick Smith, Brooks said, "I don't even care enough about you to start, but you will have to spend overtime in a chapel at the end of your life. You have blood on your hands, and while these idiots hold you on a pedestal, God does not honor injustice and murder."

After she finished with the individual verbal takedowns, Brooks left the board—whom she referred to as "soulless, profit-driven, avaricious, greedy, God-forsaken humans"—with a Bible verse. Claiming that Jesus himself was an "unarmed Black man murdered by authorities," she quoted Mark 8:36: "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?"

Well then.

Whether you agree with everything Ms. Brooks said or not, it takes a great deal of courage to speak truth to power. It's impressive to see a young woman speak her mind so clearly and boldly, not just publicly, but to the faces of the people she's addressing. Ms. Brooks has obviously done her homework on the individuals she's calling out, and while her speech may come across as harsh to some, her passion for and dedication to justice is palpable.

A video shared on Brooks' Instagram shows the reactions of the commissioners as she was speaking, if you want to see it from another angle.

The video of her speech has been viewed more than seven million times on social media and has been met with resounding virtual applause from people who are tired of seeing calls for justice and action met with continuing injustice and inaction.

You can't change what you don't acknowledge, and Ms. Brooks is making sure acknowledgement is crystal clear.

via Pexels

A new Gallup poll found a significant increase in the number of Americans who identify as LGBT since the last time it conducted a similar poll in 2017.

The poll found that 5.6% of U.S. adults identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. That's a large increase from the 2017 poll that had the number at 4.5%.

"More than half of LGBT adults (54.6%) identify as bisexual. About a quarter (24.5%) say they are gay, with 11.7% identifying as lesbian and 11.3% as transgender. An additional 3.3% volunteer another non-heterosexual preference or term to describe their sexual orientation, such as queer or same-gender-loving," the poll says.

Keep Reading Show less
Courtesy of Creative Commons
True

After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

Keep Reading Show less

As the nation helplessly watches our highest halls of government toss justice to the wind, a 2nd grader has given us someplace to channel our frustrations. In a hilarious video rant, a youngster named Taylor shared a story that has folks ready to go to the mat for her and her beloved, pink, perfect attendance pencil.

Keep Reading Show less
via wakaflockafloccar / TikTok

It's amazing to consider just how quickly the world has changed over the past 11 months. If you were to have told someone in February 2020 that the entire country would be on some form of lockdown, nearly everyone would be wearing a mask, and half a million people were going to die due to a virus, no one would have believed you.

Yet, here we are.

PPE masks were the last thing on Leah Holland of Georgetown, Kentucky's mind on March 4, 2020, when she got a tattoo inspired by the words of a close friend.

Keep Reading Show less