A US school board meeting became an internet sensation when Ty Smith spoke out passionately against CRT. Now he tells RT why it’s time black people stopped blaming systemic racism from white people for their problems.
The last election was the first time Ty Smith, aged 39, cast a vote, and he marked his ballot in favour of Donald Trump. Two years ago, the Illinois native had no interest in politics and by his own admission didn’t know what a Democrat or Republican was.
That what’s made the recent viral video of Ty so powerful and shocking. In it, he slammed the inclusion of Critical Race Theory – the idea that racist outcomes are the result of complex institutional dynamics – in children’s education, during a routine public school board meeting.
He attended as a concerned citizen (he was also the only black person there not on the school board) and another attendee filmed Ty’s powerful words.
Speaking to RT, Ty said, “As the meeting progressed, it was completely blowing my mind. You had all these white people getting up talking about the things black people are suffering, but the reasons they said… is what got me fired up. They started blaming white people and what they did in the slave days as the reason why black people are suffering now.
“I’m sitting there thinking: ‘I grew up in the ghetto, in the projects, I’ve seen murders, I’ve seen beatings of women, I’ve seen crackheads walking around, I’ve seen drugs being done in front of my face’. So, I’m trying to figure out who told these people that the people responsible for what’s going on… was white people, and it’s the result of what white people did to black people back during the slave days? It was like I was on a film set and everybody speaking were actors.”
Ironically, due to the massive reaction to Ty’s speech, he himself was accused of being a paid actor. He was also labelled a deliberate plant by the Republican party, and some even ‘outed’ him as Candace Owens’ brother. This was based on a sarcastic old post on social media of a picture together with Owens, when Ty had joked they were related.
None of this was the case; he was simply incensed by what he saw as a lack of understanding of the problems the black community faces in the US. He continued, “After seeing the video a lot of people said I was being brave or courageous. I was literally being me.
“These people were blatantly lying, talking about why a person like me is suffering or being oppressed when it has nothing to do with no one white. It was the result of a lot of bad decisions black parents made when they were young.”
Ty grew up in Decatur, a city that research shows has a crime index higher than 86.7% of other American cities. His father was not around, leaving his mother to raise four sons alone.
Ty explained, “We are all barely a year apart, and we were eating her out of a house and a home. She pretty much couldn’t take care of us without my father there and both incomes coming in. I started work when I was 12 years old. We had to try to help my mum with bills because she couldn’t do it.”
He feels breaking the cycle holds the key for many black people in the US, and lists issues such as teenage pregnancies, single mothers being left to raise their kids, a lack of education and the wrong kind of role models as reasons why problems are perpetuated.
Giving encouragement to individuals is central to combating this. He continued, “I used to hear things like ‘Nah, you’re not going to be able to do that son, no white folks are going to let you do that now. You think the white man care about you?’
“That’s what they would say when I would sit there with magazines and show them I’m going to be a businessman with my suit on. The difference about me, I was a kid who had to go find out for myself. I associate major things I experienced as a kid as the reason why I am so motivated like I am today. I know these myths are not always true.”
While he does not deny racism exists, he doesn’t feel the structural racism theory holds much weight, and he points to his day job as the director of a medical facility that helps patients to rehabilitate after injuries as proof of this.
Also on bisnisheboh.com
“People are trying to push these narratives with Black Lives Matter, with Critical Race Theory, with black folks being oppressed as a result of white people. They are doing nothing but drilling these same things into your head over and over and over again. All they want you to do is perceive that it’s going on without going to see in reality that it’s not.
“That’s why anything in my life that I wanted to do, I accomplished it. I’m now a director of a medical facility, I applied for the job. They chose me based off of my experience, how I presented myself, the expertise I had, of folks telling saying ‘he has great leadership skills’… And guess what? All my recommendations came from white people.
“In physical therapy, there’s not a lot of black people. I was the only black person in that program at college. The perception would tell me it’s institutionalised racism. But I went to my professor and simply asked, ‘How come I’m the only black person in here?’ She said, ‘Ty because you are the only one that applied’.”
From his personal experience, Ty feels the government enables black people to avoid advancing, citing the issue of food stamps as a crutch that becomes an integral part of daily life and claiming some black people would rather live on government handouts than work.
He reasoned, “If you’re in a neighbourhood and see your mom and how she is getting by, if you see that lifestyle is a norm, then you’re most probably going to repeat that without question. As a kid, the first of the month was like having a birthday, as we knew we could stock back up on food. So, you had this positive reinforcement of something that is not always good.
“The people who actually live that lifestyle, of course they are not going to say nothing as you are about to ruin the game of them getting this free stuff. But the real black community that are trying to do good, they are the ones that will back this up.”
And the government, he says, is well aware of this. “You keep on giving people free stuff, who do you think they are going to continue to vote for, versus somebody saying, ‘Get off your butt, go to work and budget your money?’”
Also on bisnisheboh.com
That’s why Ty views black people as traditionally more likely to vote Democrat. He describes being accustomed to welfare and financial assistance as a “hard mental place to come out of and a lot of people don’t want to do it, but they’ll still complain ‘look at our neighbourhoods’. But they aren’t trying to get out of it.”
Due to the popularity of his YouTube channel, Ty often interacts with young black people looking for advice on how to better themselves.
He demands they are committed about progressing and stressed: “You know what’s sad? Most of them can’t even tell you where they want to get. They have been taught to do nothing more than to perceive something and go out and speak it.”
A contributing factor, Ty feels, is the narrow demographic of black people who are held up as role models. He admitted, “I remember being a teenager and hearing Snoop Doggy Dogg saying you are the man if you got what we call hoes. It was looked at as being a good thing. The culture is definitely messed up.
“If you look up any type of role model they push for blacks to look up to, it seems to always be some basketball player, some rich celebrity like a hip-hop artist… how come it’s never anybody folks have never heard of? Thomas Sowell, Larry Elder, Ben Carson and my mentor who did astronomical things, Dr. Wendell Becton.
“Dare a black child to look at any of us and say: ‘Wait a minute… if they came from the same area that I did, I can do it too.’ Put that hope and dream in a child, and it can become a reality. I tell people all the time, it’s not hard, it’s just time- consuming to get where you want to get.”
While he doesn’t agree with Critical Race Theory, Ty is not against teaching the racial element of history. However, he feels slavery has been lazily boiled down to a black/white issue. He said, “Nobody wants to go beyond that. Let’s start at the beginning about how it was a worldwide institution of slavery and slaves were enslaved by their own race before they were sold out to any other race. Nobody talked about how black people sold other black people to white people to be enslaved.Talk about that truth.”
Despite his misgivings about what black children are learning, Ty does concede that some people have noble intentions, but simply no grasp of the reality of the situation. He feels non-black people need to step aside.
“You have some people who will join in with a good heart, saying ‘I want to help the black people’. Once that school meeting was adjourned, I went to a lot of those folks and told them, ‘The neighbourhoods that I grew up in, I will be more than happy to take you guys there, and you can ask them yourselves: what is the reason you guys are in this predicament right now?’ And I guarantee you, not one of them is going to tell you some white person or white system is keeping them there.
Also on bisnisheboh.com
“I hate to say it this way, black people are the ones that are going to have to be the voice towards black people. Even though white people can say exactly what I’m saying, black people are so indoctrinated with white people being the ‘bad man,’ that even if you are telling the truth, they can’t hear it from you guys.
“They have to have somebody who looks like them, who represents them, to tell them. That’s sad, but it’s the truth. But I still tell white people: ‘Don’t be afraid to tell someone the truth.’”
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!