On Wednesday, Jan. 6, the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. was breached and vandalized by pro-Trump supporters. Following the Sacramento Kings’ win over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday, rookie Tyrese Haliburton shared his thoughts on the atrocity, and how it affected him as a black man living in the United States.
It was so powerful that we decided to let Haliburton’s words have their own space on the site. So, what follows is a transcript of his postgame media availability. We hope you enjoy and, most importantly, listen.
Haliburton: What’s happening right now in our world and what happened today in particular is nothing but a joke with everything that’s going on: the losses of many African American lives, and the plight of people of color. For these human beings to come out like they’re being discriminated against because they lost a fair election, or that they have to wear masks, is a complete joke.
Obviously the president’s not going to say anything that means anything and our president-to-be, Joe Biden, comes out and says ‘America, we’re better than this. This is un-American.’ But, to be honest, I’m 20 years old, and I think this is as American as it gets.
I think today was the biggest, of my lifetime, probably the biggest flex of white power and white privilege there is, and I say that in the most respectful way possible. My mom’s white, my girlfriend’s white. I was taught to treat human beings as human beings first before anything,
It’s a joke. It’s unbelievable. I sat at my phone today for like an hour and a half trying to come up with something that I can say that I thought would make sense; just trying to get my feelings out there and I couldn’t do it because I never really felt like I could put it into a tweet, so I just replied to a couple of things said by people in the past just to point out the irony of what’s being said.
Keep that same energy you clown. https://t.co/nKnl988JAh
— Tyrese Haliburton (@TyHaliburton22) January 6, 2021
I know I didn’t mention this, but yesterday, Jacob Blake, in my home state, nothing happens. — doesn’t get charged for paralyzing a man. I can’t even sit here and tell you that’s a joke because there’s nothing funny about it. It’s just a shame, it’s just another example of this country failing African Americans and people of color and it’s just a disappointment.
As African Americans, I don’t know how others felt, but this has kind of become a trend: that it’s crazy that I see this and other African Americans see this and they’re not surprised, and there’s a problem there. It’s a systematic problem and something that needs to be figured out.
I’m glad that I play in the best league in the world, somewhere I can come out and talk about how I feel and what’s important. I’m just going continue to do that and let my mind be heard. I’m 20 years old, I’m not a politician, I don’t have all the answers to a lot of things but I believe in humans rights and human decency and that’s obviously not being shown right now.