HOMEWOOD, Ala. (WIAT) — On May 15, a video went viral on Facebook showing two people in a pickup truck driving past an African-American family in Homewood yelling “white power!”
The incident occurred outside of Felita Wilson’s house. Her daughter Jourdan Elliott and her boyfriend were getting out of the car and heading inside when the pickup truck drove by screaming the phrase.
“I think I was kind of numb for a few days. I think now, I’ve been able to really process it and really put my emotions into words. It’s time for a change, it just had me feeling a little uneasy, very much hyper aware to things now and a lot more cautious. But it definitely put a little strain on how I move now, I guess,” Elliott said.
Wilson says she was shocked because her family has lived in Homewood for years and nothing like that has ever happened. She’s now taking precautionary measures to be prepared in case something like this happens again.
“We’re all about equal justice and are very aware of the climate and stuff but, I will honestly say it was a wake-up call for me because you get so comfortable in your neighborhood. You watch it on TV and it’s like ‘oh man ok,’ so now we have to take some different safety measures because we know at any moment, things can change, this is how it starts,” said Wilson.
“He was just so bold, and I was just thinking what if they would have reacted differently because it was just so much hate in the way he just kept saying it and was almost growling, he wanted a reaction… I just couldn’t believe it so we made sure our security cameras are fixed, we’ll order some additional cameras, I already emailed the city about getting some lighting on the street because kind of down towards the end of our house on Berry Avenue it’s super dark,” Wilson added.
Although legally nothing may be able to be done regarding the incident, Wilson and Elliott want those hard conversations to be had and for everyone to be on the same page. They hope that they can effect some change in the community and while they can’t change the world, a little bit goes a long way.
“I think it’s super important to raise your children, especially nowadays, in a diverse and open community. We get stuck in this Homewood bubble as if nothing can happen and we’re invincible, so for people to know this happened right down the street from me, these are the same people I’ve literally grown up with since five years old. Just to be able to have those hard conversations and to understand why learning about other cultures and learning about different racial slurs and things like that are so important for the simple fact of, you can’t just drive down the street and scream out ‘white power’ to a Black family,” said Elliott.
“In the back of my head when I’m thinking about this, these kids, however old they are, we don’t know if they’re 16 or 22, but I say kids because this is a childish act and it’s like these people grew up using that language and using those terms. It so effortlessly came out, if they grew up knowing how bad of terms ‘white power,’ or any other racial slur was, what can we do now to fix that and to change that. What conversations need to be had to get these people to understand we live in a diverse country… Have respect for everybody and have those hard lessons and conversations,” Elliott concluded.