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'Treat People The Way You Want To Be Treated:' Black Mother And Business Owner Demands Justice

Ginger Grant, owner of Grant's Crabs and Seafood in Largo.
Daylina Miller
/
WUSF Public Media
"It scares me because I have a son that's 13 years old, I have a grandson that’s five – they’re all freaked out," said restaurant owner Ginger Grant on the deaths of black people at the hands of police.";s:3:

As protests against police brutality and racial injustice continue across the country, WUSF is amplifying the voices in our community responding to the calls for change. 

Here, we meet Ginger Grant, owner of Grant's Crabs and Seafood restaurant in Largo. She's a black woman who has lived in the Tampa Bay area for nearly 50 years.
 
Grant is not participating in protests but said she's happy to see people of all races join in.

In her own words, she shares how she can't understand why the deaths of black women and men like George Floyd at the hands of police continue to happen.

 
"As a black business owner, as a black woman and the way we were raised – I'm a Christian – I stand for what’s right. Whether black, white, purple – whatever, you know, treat people the way you want to be treated. And you don't murder, you don't shoot you don’t disrespect, anything like that.

"I was watching (civil rights attorney) Benjamin Crump the other day on the news. And he went through a long list of (black) individuals that have been murdered. And it's just a shame that the list is that long. As of a matter of fact, we shouldn't even have a list, you know.

"But I support police officers, I do. But in every walks of life, there's good people and there's bad people. But there's way too many peoples’ names on that list, way too many, and it's too frequent.

"I just don't understand. I don't understand why, you know, still in 2020,  why?

"It scares me because I have a son that's 13 years old, I have a grandson that’s 5 – they’re all freaked out, you know, they’re like, “Mom,” or “Grandma, what we going to do?” Because when they go to school they play with everybody.

"But I sat my kids and my grandkids down to tell them to be aware, you know, and things like that. Sometimes they walk to, say, Walmart, or whatever, and my son, he’s six-feet-tall and 13 years-old. So he’s the size of an adult, and I tell him if you ever have any interactions with a cop, obey their commands. If they say, “stop,” you stop, you know and answer their questions, be respectful and things like that.

"Because it's scary, it's scary. It really is scary. So it's something that has to be addressed and has to be addressed. You can't just, you know, look over it and turn the page, we have to do something about it.

"I'm glad to see it's all races now (protesting). It appears that we've moved the margin a little bit, that (people in power) are getting it a little bit.

"And now will it be rectified? I don't know, you know, we may move the margin a little bit, but then they go back to business as usual. So hopefully, hopefully, things will change.

"I would like to see equality. Just as I said earlier, treat people the way you want to be treated, and that's the way I was raised. And if you're treated wrong, I was raised like this: if you're treated wrong, you demand justice. You demand justice. And I'll stand on that until I take my last breath.

This story is produced in partnership with America Amplified, an initiative using community engagement to inform local journalism. It is supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.