We can all agree that racial injustice has taken a toll on our country. And while these issues have been happening constantly for years, things took an even worse turn with the death of George Floyd. While many of us are still mourning his death, there’s no denying that there is a huge problem with racism against Black and brown people in this country. And many reality television shows are speaking out about its effects.
With that said, Basketball Wives fans learned just how close to home social injustice is for Malaysia Pargo. In an emotional episode, the star highlighted how much she struggles with the concept and how scared she is raising Black children. And that’s all because of what happened to her younger brother.
So, what exactly happened to Malaysia Pargo's brother?
The number of Black men and women who are killed at the hands of police officers is alarming. And while many Black people continue to struggle with injustice, it’s easy to feel helpless and alone.
In Season 9, Episode 2, Malaysia opened up to Kristen about what happened to her brother. She shared that her younger brother, Dontae Hayes, was shot and killed by a cop in 2013.
“He was murdered by cops at the age of 17, while he was unarmed in a park,” she shares.
The topic came up after Kristen shared that she wanted Malaysia to support protests with her in light of Black Lives Matter. And while Malaysia really wanted to support, the pain of her brother's death wouldn't allow her to show up. However, she did realize that it's something that she needed to speak with her children about.
According to Monsters and Critics, Hayes was shot and killed in Riverside, Calif. after officers claimed that he pulled a handgun out of his waistband. And to make matters worse, a friend of the family has challenged that claim, saying that Hayes did not have a weapon on him.
Hayes’ mother — Taffy Hayes — reportedly filed an unlawful death lawsuit against the City of Riverside in 2014. She asked for at least $25,000 in damages for the death of her son.
However, there have been no reports on if the city settled with the family.
Hayes’ death and the news of social injustice has taken a toll on Malaysia's family life.
If you’re a fan of Basketball Wives, you know that Malaysia has three children. And with so many Black men, women, and children being killed, it has taken a toll on parents all over the country — especially since one phone call from the police can mean the end.
That said, Malaysia decided that it was time to have a talk with her children about police brutality. And while the topic is painful for her, she knows that having this open dialogue with her children can potentially help save their lives.
And while some people believe that most kids are too young to be privy to certain information, society has shown us all that age is no longer a factor. After all, Tamir Rice was shot and killed by police at 12.
“You never think that you have to tell your small baby, who is so innocent and so cute with dimples, and are trying to figure out life that they are a threat,” she says.
She continued, “To have to tell them that your uncle was a teenager that was murdered and the officer didn’t take the time to see that he was a child…”
And the moment was heartbreaking, but needed. We can't blame Black mothers and fathers for fearing the worst when it comes to their kids at the hands of police. However, by having those difficult conversations, you can help prepare your children for what could happen.
There's no telling if police brutality and social injustice will ever stop, but it's important for parents to do their part and educate their children.
Our deepest condolences go out to Malaysia and her family.
Basketball Wives airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on VH1.
If you are looking for specific ways to donate your time or money to Black Lives Matter and other antiracist organizations, we have created a list of resources to get you started.