Congressman Bobby Rush

Representing the 1st District of Illinois

Rush Holds Special Order to Appeal to Mothers to Help End Violence

Apr 28, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) spoke on the House Floor this evening to address the Baltimore riots after the death of Freddie Gray at the hands of Baltimore police officer. Below is a transcript of Rush’s remarks as prepared for delivery and a link to the video.

“Madame Speaker, Mother’s Day is soon approaching and as we take time to honor our mothers I would like to make an appeal to African-American mothers across the United States that they begin to take back our streets from the daily violence too many of our youth experience. It is time now for black mothers to once again rise up.

“Beside me today is an image that many people across the nation have seen and are talking about. The image of a strong mother giving her son what I would call a “love whooping” to snatch him back from the grips of senseless street violence plaguing Baltimore. As this picture demonstrates, Madame Speaker, mothers can and must be the mobilizing force to take back our streets. Mothers feel the pain of the loss of a child unlike any other. The primal scream of a mother at the death and sudden departure of her child is unlike any other outcry known to mankind.

“As my own history has demonstrated, I am not one to excuse police brutality and police murder and utter disrespect of society whom they are sworn to serve and protect. As members of the Black Panthers have always said “spontaneity is the art of the foolish.” What the rioters fail to consider is how many people in your community were dependent on the CVS drugstore or how many people were looking forward to calling that now burned down senior citizen center home? Simply put senseless destruction of your own neighborhood is not protesting it’s pillaging. It’s not political, it’s pillaging. Nothing more, nothing less.

“Beyond Baltimore we must look at the whole picture of violence. The violence that has plagued Baltimore was not sparked out of nowhere. Instead, Madame Speaker, it was sparked by the frustration that so many Americans feel with the reports of the death of yet another young African-American man at the hands of the police. It was sparked by the flame of frustration that far too many of our nation’s youth are facing each and every day of their lives.

“That said, Madame Speaker, from Fred Hampton and Mark Clark in 1969 to Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and now Freddie Gray in 2015 we have seen far too many young men of color fall victim to the very people sworn to serve and protect.

“This mother is demonstrating the power of a mother’s love and the power of a mother’s courage; she walked into harm’s way, directly to locate her son demonstrating a power that is beyond imagination and selflessness.

“To honor her and the important role that all mothers play in taking back our streets and ending the violence plaguing communities across the nation I call on America’s mothers to wear yellow on Mother’s Day in a symbolic show of solidarity to create a “Mothers in Yellow” movement to end violence that plague this nation’s communities and neighborhoods.

“Thank you, and I yield back the balance of my time.”