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GRIID Interview with Rita Vogel: Proposing a Malcolm X Day in Mason, Michigan, pushback and Institutional Racism

May 21, 2023

On Saturday, GRIID conducted an interview with Mason City Council member, Rita Vogel. In February, Rita proposed that the City of Mason adopt a Malcolm X Day of Observation.

Malcolm X spent two years in Mason, Michigan, after his father was murdered and his mother was send to the Kalamazoo State Hospital. After Malcolm’s father was murdered, his mother struggled with not only making ends meet to support Malcolm and his siblings, but also the trauma of having her husband murdered by White Supremacists. Malcolm and his siblings were place in white family homes and Malcolm ended up with being sent to a white family living in Mason, Michigan.

The day that Rita Vogel proposed that the City of Mason adopt a Malcolm X Day of Observation, it was voted down, with a 5 – 2 vote.  Since then, there has been significant push back against City Council member Rita Vogel, from fellow city officials and from other white people in the city that object to honoring the legacy of Malcolm X, which we discuss in the interview. 

Southpaws Radio Show had been speaking with Rita Vogel, in order to set up an interview with them. The radio show had found a location to host the interview and Press Conference, which then canceled. Southpaws then found a church in Mason that was willing to host the show with Rita, but then backed out of their offer after there was pressure from political forces in the City of Mason. Finally, a person who had a private recording studio in a town adjacent to Mason, offered Southpaws Radio Show an opportunity to use their space and to record the show. 

The interview below was just one of the interviews conducted by Southpaws Radio Show, even through GRIID did the interview with Rita, they conducted an additional interview with a former Mason Public School teacher who was pressured by the school administration to not use Black Lives Matter resources in their classroom. You can listen to that interview, along with the interview with Rita Vogel by going to the Facebook page of Southpaws.

Here is the 25 minutes interview that GRIID conducted with Mason City Council member Rita Vogel.

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