*On Friday’s edition of The Young Turks, co-host Jayar Jackson condemned the racist firefighters of the Briarcliffe Fire Company Station 75 who were caught on tape mocking Fanta Bility, an 8-year-old girl who was killed by police.
We previously reported that volunteer firefighters from a Philadelphia-area station thought their Zoom call was disconnected and proceeded to use the N-word and other racist language to disparage an all-black fire company, and mock the name of Fanta Bility who was fatally shot by police last year. Three police officers are facing charges in connection with Fanta’s death.
“A bunch of f*cking n*ggers down there,” one Briarcliffe firefighter can be heard saying in reference to the all-Black Darby Township Fire Company. The Briarcliffe firefighters also discussed there being too many African-Americans living in the area.
“That’s the f*cking problem,” one Briarcliffe firefighter said. “Blacks are taking over sh*t.”
They also mocked Fanta Bility, saying “Fanta soda, yeah, orange or Fanta grape,” one Briarcliffe firefighter reportedly said on the call while laughing.
Briarcliffe Fire Company Station 75 was shut down Wednesday in response to the audio.
As reported by Mediaite, Jackson and TYT founder and host Cenk Uygur ripped the fire company and opponents of racial reforms. Here’s how the conversation on the broadcast went down:
JACKSON: So they also were, now, onto the eight-year-old girl that was shot and killed. Her name was Fanta Bility. She was eight years old and she was killed by police in Delaware County in August of last year. This is what they said about her:
“Fanta soda. Yeah, orange or Fanta grape,” said one of them during the call while he was laughing. Even after being told that the girl was shot to death by police.
And her family, released a statement about how hurtful this was to hear. So “The family of Fanta Bility is appalled by the audio recordings of the Briarcliffe fire department that was made public today. Fanta was a bright, bubbly, innocent child before being killed by careless actions of three Sharon Hill police officers. To speak of her with such disrespect shines the light of shame on those people at the firehouse making those remarks… And to trivialize what this young girl endured that night gives new meaning to this to the descriptive, despicable.”
So there’s that.
So anytime we talk about Black Lives Matter and all those Blue Lives Matter and oh, versus that other matter, and we really, “why do we have to say Black Lives Matter?”
Because there’s an instance every day where we can see someone that explicitly says the opposite. In fact, laughs about it because she’s an eight-year-old little girl who was shot to death by police.
And when people want to talk about how that needs to stop, or maybe police need to be trained a different way or just overhauling the system completely, “What are you talking about? You just hate the police!”
Do the firefighters hate this little girl? Do the police hate that little girl? Do they hate her family that has been dealing with this, and will deal with this, the rest of their lives? And now this new wrinkle to their pain and trauma about how the people who are supposed to be protecting them, what they think of their little girl and her name.
Oh, and if they call the fire department to come put out a fire, maybe next door, maybe in partt of their house, do you think they have much trust that these people really believe that they should save them? Because they really don’t seem to care about their daughter that was killed?
UYGUR: Yeah. So, the reason why the Fanta part of the story is so important is not just because it’s a little eight-year-old girl and they’re mocking her desk. It’s also because the firefighters are supposed to be in a line of work where they save lives. And so obviously they have no respect for African-Americans, and they think there’s literally too much of them in a neighborhood.
So are you sure they’re going to save your eight-year-old daughter if she’s Black? Or are they going to say, hey, it’s a white part of town. I empathize with them there, but for the grace of God goes me and my family, I’m going to go rushing into that burning building. Oh, it’s a Black neighborhood. Are we really going to rush into the building and risk our valuable white lives for their worthless Black lives?
That’s why it’s called Black Lives Matter, because to a lot of people, they don’t, including in law enforcement and the fire department. And guys. Let’s give you the best-case scenario and say that a lot of right-wingers are not racist. OK. And that’s why they keep saying, “I don’t understand there’s no racism. Why is everybody complaining about racism?”
Is it possible that even if I give you that benefit of the doubt and you don’t have a racist bone in your body, you never thought any of those things that other people think them, that other people think them, and that has a massive effect on African-Americans in this country?
Watch the conversation via The Young Turks clip below.