5 Mins. With the Mom Who Pulled Up on a Kid Who Called Her N*gger in Viral Video


Ayo Henry & young white supremacist 
By Kira Sparkles

While scrolling through Facebook one night, I found a video of the woman that I wish I was in the face of adversity. Meet Ayo Henry of Rhode Island. Mother of four. Derby Girl. Badass. She charged unapologetically forward ready to mom the hell out of a kid who called her n*gger. Lucky for me, we're part of a mutual interest group on Facebook so I was able to snag Ayo to ask her all about the infamous video that has trended on World Star, Raw Story, TheRoot, and even D.L. Hughley gave it some love! This is what she had to say about the incident...



Hi Ayo, obviously, there was some backstory. What happened to lead up to this point?
 So I got out of scrimmage practice on a Sunday about a month ago...my daughters were with me and I was taking them up to their dad's house in MA so I wanted to feed them real quick and we decided to go to D'angelos restaurant. As I pulled into the parking lot like any normal person would, this dude on a bicycle comes swooping across the lot swerving like he's got not a care in the world, nearly clips me...before I get a chance to even blow the horn, the kid turns around and starts shouting at me. I can barely hear him so I roll down my window just in time to hear "you dumb bitch!" At which point (and I have my kids in the car so I'm restraining TF out of myself) I'm like "Excuse me!???" He's wearing his confederate sweatshirt... he shouts something back, and I say something along the lines of "why don't you watch where you're going you ignorant douche, btw the confederacy is over." At which point he calls me a "dumb nigger" and says "suck my dick you nigger bitch." Well, now I'm just dumbfounded with rage...because A. wtf even just happened? B. my kids are in the car and C. this is Rhode Island (people are racist, but it's much more subtle, generally).

So I say to my kids, watch...he's gonna forget all about this, but Rhode Island is small...I'm gonna run into him again and I will remember him.

Fast forward a month...again, I'm leaving practice and damn if I don't see this kid go peddling by the rink wearing the same dingy confederate flag sweatshirt....Right before I started the video, he saw me pull into the gas station and we locked eyes and he took off. That's when I turned the camera on.

What made you go after him? Were you afraid it might turn violent?
I don't even know... I was still pretty amped up from scrimmage...I am also one of those people who can't help but speak their mind regardless of consequence, particularly when it comes to certain issues and racism is one of those. It's in my blood I think, lol...my mom, grandma, great grandma were and are very outspoken, justice-oriented, strong black women. Maybe a little quick with the mouth, but with sincere integrity.

I was not afraid, and I have read many comments reminding me that what I did was dangerous...

But I've always been really good at reading people. I come from a real mixed up background growing up in the projects, but attending private school, working in hospitals and pharmacies, and having a career in sales.

So I could tell from his demeanor right off the bat that he was far more afraid of me than I was of him... not to say it wasn't still risky, but I definitely would give myself credit for having pretty good street smarts.

You really went straight up into mom mode on this kid! Were you hoping to accomplish something with your interaction with him?
 I think my initial feeling was just that I wanted him to know that he couldn't just get away with what he said. I wanted him to know that I remembered his words and I remembered his face and I remembered his sweatshirt and that I wasn't afraid. Whenever I see terrible racist crap on the internet or in real life (or any of the degenerate shit the media inundates us with) the first thing I always think is "where is this person's mother...and is she proud?" or "who is raising their children to be such garbage humans?"...Like my primary objective on earth right now is raising 4 kids, but it's not just raising kids you're raising future adults. I can't understand for the life of me why racism, sexism, transphobia any of this stuff is still even an issue because in my household the number one rule is "don't be a dick."

What would you love to change about the world with your newfound platform?
 If I could change one thing about the world, it would be to make people understand that we ARE all essentially the same. We all want to be successful, we all want to make our folks proud, we all want to give our children the best opportunities in life. We all love a good meal, we laugh and cry the same despite language differences. If everyone understood that and could have a little empathy for the next, without the presumption of superiority or inferiority between groups, we would have none of the problems we have in the world today.

Thanks so much for chatting with us Ayo!

How do you/have you dealt with racists?

Kira is a passionate, outspoken writer keeping it real for the people. She's a UF graduate with a soft spot for cats. Read more of her work at her blog KiraSparkles!

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