Niecy Nash opens up about George Floyd, says police 'pulled a taser' on her son in a traffic stop
The actress and TV host, 50, said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter posted Monday that she's been rethinking how she talks to her loved ones about law enforcement, as marches across the country and around the world show support for the Black Lives Matter movement and protest police brutality.
"While I receive phone calls where people are saying, 'What can white people do? What can non-black people do?' I'm trying to figure out what to tell my own son," she said. "I used to say, if you just comply, get home, and if there was a wrong that happened, we'll right it later. But now we watched a murder on national TV when George Floyd was murdered. I don't know because he complied. He was in handcuffs. He was on the ground with his hands behind his back. So I don't even know."
Nash said she's been a "(expletive) wreck" lately and revealed her son had a tense experience with police last weekend as he was driving away from her house.
"They pulled a taser on him for a rolling stop," Nash said. "And then proceeded to question him and ask him, 'You have on a T-Mobile shirt. Do you work there? Because if you do, how did you afford this car? Because this is a 2020.' They don't know if he was a manager. They don't know if he was an owner. They don't know if he had a rich mama. But what they probably felt like was: 'How did this young black boy get a car that I don't even have?' And we fitting to make you suffer for it."
The actress, who has made recent appearances in "Mrs. America" and "Never Have I Ever," said she and the rest of the cast of cop show "Reno 911" donated $10,000 for Floyd's funeral. Reflecting on how else Hollywood can look inward to make change, she called out double standards in paychecks between white and black stars.
"How many times can you look at my contract versus a contract that Kyra Sedgwick has," she said. "And we worked for the same people. And we were both No. 1 on the (call sheet). Do you think hers look like mine? And then the question becomes, Why?"
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As to how she thinks white people can help fix things and make a difference right now, she asked that they refrain from bringing up that question to their black friends.
"It isn't the responsibility of the oppressed to tell the oppressor what to do and how to right the wrong," she said. "So my suggestion is you need to ask non-black people what they can do. Are they fighting for equal pay? When they come on these sets, are they making people feel welcome? How are they moving in these scripts and when they look at how people are depicted? Don't call one more black person and ask them nothing about nothing. You call the white people and ask them what they could do because black people, by definition, can't be racist because we're not the ones in power."
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