EP 2: Meet the Hawkins

What Happened in Alabama Podcast

EP 2: Meet the Hawkins

Growing up in a middle-class suburb in the 1980s often felt idyllic to Lee. It was the age of crank calls and endless summers playing outside. The Hawkins kids were raised by their parents to excel in everything they put their minds to — and they did. They were model students at school and in their community. But at home, a pervading sense of fear and paranoia governed the household. In this episode, Lee sits down with his younger sister Tiffany to discuss the tensions at home. Later, he talks with psychotherapist and trauma expert Brandon Jones to uncover the roots of his parents’ fears, and how it dates back to slavery and the Jim Crow era in the United States.


Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome | Dr. Joy DeGruy


Lee Hawkins (host): We wanted to give a heads up that this episode includes talk of abuse and acts of violence. You can find resources on our website, WhatHappenedInAlabama.org. Listener discretion is advised.

Hi, this is Lee Hawkins, and we’re about to dive into episode two of What Happened in Alabama. This one’s about family and how policies impact parenting. There’s a lot to get into. But you’ll get a whole lot more if you go back and listen to the prologue – that’ll give you some context for the series and this episode. Do that, and then join us back here. Thank you so much.

[music starts]

Family. There are so many variations of what this unit is. For me, it’s mom, dad and my sisters. No matter what your family looks like – be it blood or chosen – there’s a shared experience of people who know you inside and out, who’ve seen you grow. There’s a common language for your memories, an ease when you’re together.

This journey I’ve been on to understand how I was raised and the histories behind who I am today starts with the people who know me best and have seen me at my highs and my lows. They bear witness to stories in the far reaches of my mind and fill in the gaps when my recollection isn’t clear.

Growing up in Maplewood, Minnesota, there are a lot of memories. Understanding myself means understanding my parents, my grandparents, and all the people who came before them.

[musical intro]

I’m Lee Hawkins, and this is What Happened In Alabama. Episode 2: Meet the Hawkins.

[music starts]

In many ways, I grew up in a picture-perfect American family: mom, dad, three kids. Me and my two sisters, Tammi and Tiffany.

Tiffany: I would be outside from sunup to sundown playing with the neighbors. We'd always have a game of kickball or softball, fight over, you know, whose ball it was or if the person lost the game, they’d take the ball and want to go home or kick it over the neighbor’s fence. I mean, we really had a great time with that aspect growing up.

That’s Tiffany. Looking back on our childhood with her brings back so many great memories. We were children and teenagers of the '80s, and that was an almost magical time to grow up in.

Tiffany: You know, we'd go play in the woods or you know, ding dong ditch or, you know, the phone calls that we would make pranking people. I mean, these are things that could have –

Lee: Oh the prank calls on the three-way? Oh man.

Tiffany: Yeah, you know, I was really mad when they came out –

Lee: That was some funny stuff though.

Tiffany: That caller ID really messed us up, you know, caller ID ended all of that. [Lee laughs] Because we used to really get people in some binds there. I mean, if social media was out there, we coulda made tons of money off of those calls that we were genius –

Lee: Oh man, we would be blowing up. [Tiffany laughs] We would be so rich if we were, if social media was out now, our show would be the bomb. Our prank call show. [Tiffany laughing] Oh my gosh.

Tiffany: Yeah, it would’ve. It would've.

Like I said, we had fun as kids. But there were some tense times, too. Mom and Dad were strict.

Tiffany: You know, it's just like them coming home from work. Like, is, are all the chores done? Like, what kind of mood are they gonna be in? Like, are we gonna get yelled at or beat today, or you know, what's gonna happen? You never knew. You were constantly having to live with this, you know, fear. And you had no control over how, what was gonna happen.

Lee: Right, and then our parents would come home, and they were like military inspectors, and they would go over – Mom would go over and make sure if there was a, you know, if there was a smudge on the mirror, then that meant you were gonna go – she was gonna come into your room, drag you out into the living room, and beat you down. And tell you, [yelling] “There was a smudge on the mirror!”

Tiffany: [laughing] It's so crazy because, yeah.

Lee: And we laugh now because there’s that thin line between comedy and tragedy, right, that’s what they say. And I think that now that we made it out – we made it out, Tiff. We made it.

Tiffany: Yeah. But for the grace of God.

Our parents raised us to be perfectionists. We were super high achieving kids. Both Tiff and I were elected class president, me four consecutive years, Tiff three consecutive years. She was the homecoming queen and a star athlete. And I was known more for my activism and was elected YMCA Youth Governor of the State of Minnesota. We had lots of friends and were often thought to be role models. But at home, we were sometimes seen as falling short, and the penalty for that was the belt, or verbal tirades from our disappointed parents.

It’s a hard thing to talk about, because I can’t in good faith paint my parents as evil monsters who just wanted to abuse us, because they weren’t. In fact, they didn’t see it as abuse. And neither did we. We were a close family, and we loved our parents, and I know they loved us. Our parents were and are good people. They were active in the church, they were amazing neighbors, and they made a lot of sacrifices to raise us into the productive citizens we’ve become. That said, they, like a lot of our Black friends’ parents, could be really mean. Over time, my research into the history of my family and my country, revealed an explanation for that.

Before I go too deep into this, I should mention that Tiffany and I – and our family’s experiences – don’t represent that of the whole Black community. We’re speaking about ourselves.

The terror our family went through during enslavement and Jim Crow made our parents feel that they needed to be brutal with us. A few months ago, I sat down with Tiffany to talk more deeply about how we were raised trying to make sense of our parents’ fear and trauma and how it impacted us. The focus on hard work, getting ahead and the American Dream – all things Mom and Dad thought would keep us safe.

You’ll also hear parts of my conversation with Brandon Jones, Executive Director of the Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health. He helps us process how this tension between some Black parents and their children manifested as trauma in every generation going back to slavery. We had to follow the rules, and the penalty of not following those rules was almost always violence at home and social condemnation in the world outside. The interviews with Tiffany and Brandon helped me see it so much more clearly.

Tiffany: You know, being the youngest comes with a lot, where I had siblings – and you and Tammi were, I think in that day and age, were quite a bit older than I was, but not really because, you know, five and seven years older. But we were, still had this closeness.

Lee: And what do you remember about me? How was I as a kid?

Tiffany: You were very animated. I remember that you were always very talented at everything you did. You could sing and dance, and you were always a leader, a leader of the pack. You were never, did the same as everyone else, and I thought that was a great thing. You also were mischievous, I think. [laughs] At times you could be: “Oh, Lee Lee.” “Oh, what's Lee Lee done now?”

Lee: Right. ’Cause we called it “hyper.”

Tiffany: He's always getting in trouble.

Lee: On my way to prison.

Tiffany: Yeah, well, yeah. [laughter]

Lee: Or to get killed by the police. One of the two. ‘We better whoop his ass.’

Tiffany: The paranoia. Yeah.

Looking back, I now see we were under a lot of stress, even though we also had fun as kids. But the pressure to never make any mistakes – under the threat of the belt – was constantly weighing on us. The understanding was that if we messed up as kids – even buying a candy bar without getting a receipt – that would go on our records and could be brought back by white people, even years later, to destroy our futures and lives and careers as adults. So we avoided a lot of trouble. But when we did really well, especially against white kids, our mother sometimes seemed reluctant to celebrate with us. It was almost as if our success and our confidence and our belief in ourselves as Black kids sometimes frightened her.

Lee: Did you feel supported when you were achieving all these things?

Tiffany: No. You know, at times in, I had, you know, two different – and depending on which parent you were talking about, I mean, Dad supported us in everything. But there were still limits to that. I mean, I felt like they were glad to have something that was keeping me busy and out of trouble. But never really embraced the fact that that could have been something that I took a lot further. I'm not sure why Mom was like, you know, with pretty much anything that we did almost, as to keep us in our place in some way, she would also make it, always make it feel like, ‘Yeah, that's great and everything, but it's not really that important,’ you know? ‘It doesn't mean anything.’

Lee: And also, ‘Why do you think that you can be this or that?’ ‘Why do you think –,’ you know? Did you get that? I got that all the time, right in the midst of accomplishing things.

Tiffany: Oh, I got that a lot. Or, ‘Why do you have to be –,’ yeah, ‘Why do you have to be always doing stuff?’ Like, ‘Can't you just be satisfied with this?’ Like, ‘Everybody else isn't doing that.’ That was another thing that drove me crazy, is hearing about what everybody else's kids were doing. And it was like, ‘Yeah, but I mean – and that's great and I'm glad that they are – but do you see what I'm doing? Everybody else's kids aren't doing this.’

Lee: But that was when we would get beat.

I remember a time Tiffany had a big track meet leading up to the state tournament. But it coincided with a family trip down south. When they picked me up on the way down, I asked Tiffany how her track season was going. When she told me she’d qualified for this meet, I was furious, because it was a huge opportunity. I didn’t understand why my parents didn’t let her go to the meet and join us on the trip later. But Tiffany and I knew not to push.

Lee: You and I have talked about the play Fences – August Wilson's Fences – and Troy Maxson and how he despised his son coming home saying, “Dad, I got a football scholarship, and they're gonna pay the way. They need you to sign off for me to go to college for free,” and Troy Maxson said, “You're not going.” Because he was a major league, he was a Negro League baseball player, and his dreams got dashed and he really resented the opportunity and the freedom of that next generation.

And I always look back, and I think back to how Mom used to tell us about Grandpa Buddy, which was so hard to hear, because Grandpa Buddy was so supportive of us, but she would say that Grandpa Buddy thought she should just get married and not go to college or anything. “You're just a woman, so just go get married. Why should I spend money on college?”

And so it seems like in our bloodline – not on Dad's side of the family, but definitely on Mom's side of the family – every generation kind of resented sometimes the next generation's opportunities of, you know, that it was like, ‘Yes, I'm providing this for you, and we're going to make sure you have braces, and we're going to make sure that all of your needs are met. We're not gonna hug you. We're not gonna tell you we love you. We're not gonna baby you, we’re gonna beat excellence into you. But then when you become excellent, we're also gonna resent you because we didn't have the same opportunity that you had.’

Brandon: Well, we have a lot of old parenting techniques that were picked up and conditioned from slavery that have continued on. Doctor Joy DeGruy talks about this in her book, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome.

Brandon Jones is the executive director of the Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health. He also consults for other organizations in developing culturally relevant and trauma-informed mental health services for children throughout the state. When I told him this story, he immediately recognized the connection to slavery and Jim Crow.

Brandon: One of the things that really just blew my mind is the downplaying of achievement of our children in kind of – it's, it's in a, it's in a joking way, but it was a protective measure on the plantation where you would have Black parents, mostly mothers, who would downplay the achievements of their son or their daughter because they didn't want their child to be sold off or moved to another part of the plantation where they couldn't keep an eye on them or protect them.

Lee: Right, they would have a talent for playing the violin or something, and the fear was that Massa's gonna sell him to be, and say, “Oh, this Negro plays the violin and he can work during the day,” and get a pretty penny for that person and then they'll be separated from the family.

Brandon: Right. So there was a protective measure to keep kids close to their parents.

Hearing that from Brandon actually made me feel a lot better, because when I was a kid, I just thought our mother hated us. But it’s not that simple. Looking back, I now see she was under a lot of stress, working a full-time job as a nurse and a health coordinator at a major corporate assisted living center, raising us, taking care of our dad, and being the matriarch who made a lot of sacrifices for us. And quite often, she’d have chest pains, which is a telltale sign of a heart attack.

And I’d say 90% of the time she complained of chest pains, it would be because we upset her; usually if we disagreed with her, were perceived as talking back, or even if we looked at her in a certain way she didn’t like. That really scared us, but it horrified our dad. He would transform into an attack dog and just haul off and slap us, and then order us all to get into the car so we could take our mom to the emergency room. It got to the point where that scenario just kept playing out. Tiff and I couldn’t tell if she was really having pains or if she was using it as a weapon of punishment. We were scared for our mom. And for ourselves.

Tiffany: Yeah, I can laugh about it now, but it was actually terrifying as a kid because, you know, I can remember several times that she did this, but one in particular when she pulled that having chest pains thing. And maybe she was having chest pains, maybe that was a sign of her anxiety, but I also know that she knew how to use that to play that card with Dad. You know, the ambulance was called, it was all of this. And Dad looked me in the eye, and he said, “If anything happens to my wife, I'm gonna kill you.” And I believed that. I mean, he was so scared that something was gonna happen to her. And it scared me so much that I caught a cab from there and left, because I was afraid that something was gonna happen and Dad was gonna kill me.

Lee: Other moms that we knew, if someone threatened their child, especially their husband, and said, “I'll kill you,” then they would say, “No, don't do that. Don't do that.” And a lot of black women that we know from the church would have said, “Uh uh, you're not gonna threaten my child's life.”

[Tiffany laughing]

Lee: But our mom was just like silent, like, and she would look at us like, ‘Yeah, see? He’ll kill you for me. He'll kill you for me.’

Tiffany: Yeah, it would give her fuel. And we didn't know enough then. And also I feel like we – they knew how to isolate us in that way. We were fearful of ever communicating what we were going through at home, because one of the reasons, I think we didn't even realize that this was not normal behavior because we knew, you know, other friends that would say that their parents spanked them. We thought we were getting spanked, you know? It wasn't until later we realized this was a lot more than getting spanked, I mean, ya know? And so then that's when I realized when I did start sharing with people and they would be looking at me like, ‘Are you crazy?’ Like, ‘What are you talking about?’ Like, ‘That's horrible.’ Like, people would be affected. And I'm like, ‘Why are you so affected by that?’ That's not a normal spanking. This is not normal behavior. But I didn't know that until after. We never could tell family business. You remember, we were always told that? “Don't tell family business.”

[music starts]

And of course, years later, my father opened up about how, when he’d beat us, he’d scream, “Don’t ever disrespect your mother! I would give my life for five minutes with my mama!” And be beating us and going into a whole explanation of how sweet and kind his mother was. And the more he’d say, the harder he’d swing that belt. His mother died of a kidney infection when he was just 12 years old, and I think when she died, he never got over the pain and the guilt of feeling like he didn’t protect his mother. So he wasn’t going to let that happen again in his adult life. I guess he addressed that pain by protecting our mother from us. I wish my dad would’ve just talked about his grief and explained what it felt like to be in that helpless position and how much losing his mom affected him. Maybe if he did, life at home would’ve been more peaceful.

Tiffany: I'm sure there were a lot of people that had no idea that this was going on in our household.

Lee: Mom to this day to me has said, “We've never beat you with the belt. We never hit you with the belt. We only spanked you.”

Tiffany: Yeah.

Lee: And we were hit hundreds of times with the belt.

Tiffany: Yeah.

Lee: And to this day –

Tiffany: With a belt, comb, shoes thrown at us.

Lee: Slapped –

Tiffany: I mean –

Lee: Slapped across the face.

Tiffany: Slapped. Tackled.

Lee: Thrown down the stairs.

Tiffany and I both got the belt. But we were also sometimes punished in different ways, depending on the parent, and depending on the moment.

Tiffany: Through therapy, I realize some of the things, some of my paranoia, some of, you know, the anxiety that I have were triggered from situations that happened during my childhood. So like getting locked in a house that you couldn't leave, and if there was a fire, would have burned in. Not being able to access the phone if there was an emergency because it was blocked so that you couldn't make calls out. There could only be calls that were coming in. You know, being dragged out of bed in the middle of the night…[laughing] this is almost embarrassing to say – because someone ate the Breyers ice cream. I mean, like –

Lee: But Tiffany, like, okay, so you said that it wasn't until you started talking about it with other people that you started to realize that this was not normal, right? But I remember when I was a kid, I think part of the reason I didn't completely implode at that time and it took like many, many years later for me to break down was because I thought, ‘Well, we're Black kids.’ Mom and Dad programmed us, and I guess society programmed me – I don't want to speak for you – but it programmed me to believe, ‘This is what Black kids have to get. I'm a Black kid. And being Black, Black people –.’ And mom would say, “This is a Black custom. We whip our kids. This is what Black people do.” And so I just believed that because I'm Black, I have to be beaten because this is our heritage and this is who we are. And Black kids are not allowed to have that level of freedom.

[music starts]

My parents were among the approximately 70% of Black parents who believe in hitting kids. Out of all the ethnic groups in America, Black households believe in it at the highest rates, and in the 17 states where corporal punishment is still legal in schools, Black children are hit more than children of any other race, and their parents are most likely to sign forms allowing teachers to strike their children. Once again, I’m not saying this is the case for all Black families, but in my home, and in the homes of many of the Black kids I grew up with, it was framed to us as being a Black custom. I asked Brandon Jones about this.

Brandon: Unfortunately, due to our own historical trauma and our adaptation of intergenerational trauma that has become culture, spankings or whoopings have become primary. And what ends up happening is you have a lot of kids who are spanked or whooped as a first approach towards discipline without other methods of means happening. And you get a lot of shame as well that takes place when parents don't whoop or beat or use corporal punishment to their children. Other Black parents or family members will encourage you to do so or ask you, “Why are you not spanking your child?” Or, “Why are you talking to your child about what's going on? That child needs their butt whooped,” and things of that nature. Like these are very common conversations and interactions that happen within the Black community.

In hindsight, a lot of the reasons for my whipping was because I was often asking questions. Yes, as a student leader, but especially as a Black kid. I wasn’t afraid to speak out. I never felt like I couldn’t compete, or any anxiety about being Black and having lots of friends of all races. And my parents would say, “Be careful at that school. Watch what you say, and don’t get cocky with these white people.” And I feel like I got punished for not being afraid and staying in my place, for that unapologetic curiosity and confidence to ask questions and express opinions. And of course, I made it worse by becoming a journalist.

I was in my thirties before I began to question the way we were raised. Until then, I think I too believed that Black kids needed to be treated this way, to keep them out of the criminal justice system or to be able to work in corporate America without being kept out because they stole a candy bar from Walgreens when they were nine. But Tiff was much smarter and braver than me. She knew it was wrong as a child. As a parent, she broke that cycle in our family and talked a lot about the need to focus on healing.

Tiffany: A lot of people have been through different childhood traumas that are horrible, but it's what you do to try and reverse that. So I’ve spent most of my adult life, and I know you have too, trying to heal, you know, and sometimes it's exhausting going to a therapy session and coming home and all this stuff is drug up and, you know, you just feel defeated. But I also know that it has caused me to be a better mother. Because that was my biggest fear, is when I started having children, I did not want to repeat the cycle. So I haven't, I never spank my my children. And I try to, you know, talk to them about things. And I always want them to feel like they could come to me about different things.

Now, there were times when I'll say, and they'll, they could tell you too, like I saw little Lee Roy or Roberta in me, you know, especially with, like, the explosive, you know, or yelling. And that would make me feel horrible, you know, some of the things, the verbal things that I've had to catch myself saying. But the difference between that is that, you know, once I was able to calm myself down and really critically think about what had just happened, I will always give someone an apology about my behavior and how that impacted them. It doesn't mean that it didn't affect the person, you know, because words hurt. But I have, you know, tried to live a life where I'm not continuing the cycle. And I just constantly working on it. You know, there's things that still trigger me.

Lee: Right. And I remember when you and Tammi started having kids. That was when it triggered something in me that made me confront Mom and Dad. Because I was also afraid that they were gonna try to beat them, to beat my nieces and nephews. And I remember I was vicious, you know, I was, I had a vengeance in me and saying, ‘Don't you dare repeat that cycle another generation.’

Tiffany: Mm hmm.

As a journalist in 1999, around the time Tiffany and I started recognizing all this, that was when the first version of the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study came out, showing that traumatic childhood experiences can stalk people and increase the likelihood of mental illness, substance abuse, and chronic health problems. Subsequent updates to the research showed that childhood trauma can shorten life expectancy. That’s when I started thinking consciously about how adults – of all races – have this responsibility to protect children. But that doesn’t mean trying to beat safety into them.

And yes, there are political, social, and economic realities that caused my parents to legitimately worry. But it’s my hope that for new generations, we put down the belt and find a way to give a child a peaceful home without screaming, violence, and constant uncertainty about when the next outburst could happen.

That said, this is a very complicated conversation to have, because despite it all, I wouldn’t be the person I am today without my parents, my dad especially. And I’m talking about all the good things – his unwavering encouragement and belief in us, his omnipresence in our lives, and his undeniable devotion as a husband and a father. My sister Tiffany feels the same way too.

Tiffany: I get people that tell me all the time about the way that Dad changed their life or how invested he was in them. And even just to, like, call them and say, “Hey, remember what we talked about, that thing you were going to do? Did you ever do it?” You know, he was always a great person for that.

Lee: He was an incredible motivator. He was someone who wanted to see us go to the next level and far beyond what he could have ever dreamed.

For our whole childhood, our dad’s life before us was a mystery. We couldn’t even ask about it. We just knew the basic facts. He was born in Alabama and moved to Minnesota after his mom died when he was 12 years old. But beyond that, any clues about his childhood would appear at the most unexpected times.

Tiffany: I still have never seen a picture of him as a child. And any time I did try and bring things up, like, “What was your mom like or your dad like?,” we would either get told to be quiet, not by Dad, but by Mom, like, “Shhh, don’t, we're not gonna talk about that. You know that it's really hard for your dad.”

Sometimes having these kinds of conversations about the difficult things that have happened to us can feel like poking an old wound. But I believe that the wound needs to breathe before it can be healed. And that’s really what this conversation with Tiff was. It was healing.

As part of this project, I also talked with my mom. She sat down for an interview on the fourth anniversary of our dad’s death. She answered some very hard questions about why she was so hard on us, and she cried, because it was a tender day.

And I realize now it’s not fair or true to make the blanket statement that our mom didn’t support us. For example, she came out and did the interview – not because she was dying to do it, but because she did it to support me and this podcast.

And the conversation with Brandon really helped me further process the reality that our mother was afraid that our success would make us targets for white racists. Yes, when we were younger, she pushed us to excel. But once we got older and got into the limelight in spaces where it mattered, it was frightening for her.

Lee: What were your fears for me as a Black boy in Maplewood?

Roberta: It was because of the, we just don’t know how other people would accept you. And one of the things about it is that you were really outspoken and all that, but some, they hated, I mean some were haters. And we, and their parents too. But we were afraid for you, that something would happen. Because things have happened.

That’s the complexity of coming from a family like mine. Our mom may not have shown up in the way some people think a mother should. Still, I believe she did love us. She worked hard, sacrificed and gave us what we needed. And I’m grateful for that.

I’m grateful for my sisters. Tammi prefers her privacy, but she still came out with Mom and talked with us, for me. And Tiffany, too. This couldn’t have been easy for my baby sister. She didn’t show up because she wanted to be in a podcast talking about her life and her childhood pain. My mother showed up for her son, and both of my sisters showed up for their brother. For me.

Lee: I love you so much, sis.

Tiffany: Aww I love you, too.

Lee: I want to thank you for the courage that you've exhibited in everything you've done to support me in this at times where I was so alone.

Tiffany: Yeah. And I just want to say thank you for the opportunity, because this has been healing for me, and I know I’ve thought about you a lot, I’ve prayed for you. I can’t imagine what it was like with all the research that you’ve gone through. Having to be there and go through and process all of the things while your regular life is going on and then in the midst of this, to lose our father. I think this is an important part of your legacy, and I think it is going to really change the way that people view things. But yeah, the time has come.

[music starts]

All of this encouragement, this support, that’s what love looks like to me. And I’m so happy about that. During this whole process, I had so many family members who poured out a lot of memories and feelings, facing up to parts of their Black experience that they may not have ever discussed. Especially my dad. And all of that, really, was the starting place for all this.

When I started working on this project, I knew I’d have to go back to where it all started with my dad in Alabama. But I had no idea even where to begin. So I started researching and asking questions, and pretty soon, I realized that this was so much bigger than him. It’s not just his story, it’s America’s story.


What Happened in Alabama is a production of American Public Media. It’s written, produced, and hosted by me, Lee Hawkins.

Our executive producer is Erica Kraus.

Our senior producer is Kyana Moghadam.

Our story editor is Martina Abrahams Ilunga.

Our producers are Marcel Malekebu and Jessica Kariisa.

This episode was sound designed and mixed by Marcel Malekebu. Our technical director is Derek Ramirez. Our soundtrack was composed by Ronen Landa.

Our fact checker is Erika Janik.

And Nick Ryan is our director of operations.

Special thanks to the O’Brien Fellowship for Public Service Journalism at Marquette University; Dave Umhoefer, John Leuzzi, Andrew Amouzou, and Ziyang Fu; and also thank you to our producer in Alabama, Cody Short.

The executives in charge at APM are Joanne Griffith and Chandra Kavati.

You can follow us on our website, whathappenedinalabama.org or on Instagram at APM Studios.

Thank you for listening.

Next time on What Happened in Alabama.

He died tellin’ them to take care of me, that’s what happened there.

There’s a reason why you’re killing each other. There’s a reason why, you know, you don’t have land. There’s a reason why, you know, they’ve criminalized your body and put you in prison for free labor.