Aaryn Smiley's shooting has prompted her dad to be outspoken about Black people and gun violence.
Rickey Smiley directly challenged Black communities to confront their gun violence while delivering a passionate and at times emotional update about his daughter’s condition days after she was shot multiple times in Houston. The comedian and radio host on Wednesday morning posted a video to his social media channels to give his fans an update as well as to sound off on gun violence.
Aaryn Smiley, who was shot on Sunday, is recovering after surgery on her leg and was expected to leave the hospital later this week, her father said with relief. He posted screenshots from the 19-year-old’s Instagram stories that explained how she nearly was shot in the head. She posted that being alone since her parents were not allowed in the hospital was “the scariest part.”
But while Rickey Smiley expressed gratitude that his daughter would ultimately be physically fine, he also took some time to condemn the gun violence in Black communities that made her a victim in the first place. In doing so, he challenged those same communities in no uncertain terms.
“When y’all ready to have a conversation about what we do in our community and how we act and things that we do and our mindset of our people, I’ll be ready,” he said not just referring to his daughter’s experience but also “all the kids that got killed all over the country Fourth of July weekend due to gun violence.”
Rickey Smiley said the news that a grandmother in Birmingham had to now console her daughter while also grieving the killing of her 8-year-old grandson in Atlanta was heartbreaking to him and he vowed to help that family somehow. At least six children were killed in gun violence over the past weekend.
“That’s who we need to be praying for,” he said. “And I’m not gonna compare this to the movement going on because the movement is legit and I support it, but we need to figure out how to get these hoodlums out of our community that’s around here killing innocent people.”
“Who we gon blame for that? When are we gonna have that conversation?” he asked rhetorically.
To hammer home his point, Smiley pointed to his own family statistics as proof that gun violence in Black communities is out of control. He said out of the five people living in his home, “two of us are gunshot victims now. Me and my daughter, shot in our own communities that we serve … and damn it if two of us ain’t gunshot victims.”
He said he was standing by for whenever “anybody’s ready to have that convo without getting dragged on the internet for talking down to Black people, talking about how we act and how we carry ourselves and the things that we do.”
Rickey Smiley compared white supremacy and systemic to a home’s “yard,” saying, “at some point, we gotta work on the house because you don’t fix the yard until you fix everything in the house.”
Watch his full video message below.
Rickey Smiley first announced on Monday morning that his daughter had been shot over the weekend. According to a report from Bossip, he “fought back tears as he revealed … on his morning show that he had just found out a few hours earlier that his daughter was shot while she was waiting for food at a Whataburger location in Houston.”
Details including the shooter(s) identity and the motive surrounding the shooting were not immediately announced. However, at the time, Rickey Smiley had some choice words while on the air Monday morning that expressed a similarly dismayed sentiment in his video message Wednesday morning.
“All the stuff these people trying to do to fight for the rights of Black people. This is no discredit to Black Lives Matter because I believe that and I’m with that movement 110% and one has nothing to do with the other, but there are some criminals in our community that someone needs to do something about,” Rickey Smiley said before continuing.
“I just pray,” he added. “I’m sitting up here a gunshot victim myself and I’m still up here fighting and praying for the rights of Black people and all of the parents that had to bury their loved ones due to gun violence in our own community by our own people. Absolutely disgusting.”
Smiley was also frustrated because of initial difficulties securing travel arrangements. When he did arrive in Houston, he told his fans via another video message that he had been prevented from seeing his daughter in the hospital because of COVID-19 social distancing guidelines.
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