Local DJ Talks Black Lives Matter, protests, etc.

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Manny Rich (Pooh Heff)

Hi everyone! I hope you’re doing well. It’s been a rough week again. We’re going through a lot in this world. My eyes were glued to the TV and yes…I spent a lot of time checking social media. Although I typically write about my own perspective of life, current events and more, I wanted to reach out to DJ Pooh Heff (Manny Rich) this week. Manny is a longtime DJ here in El Paso. He’s been on local radio and runs the Podcast “The Pooh Heff Show” via iHeart Radio, Spotify and others. He also works for his online independent radio station Gecko Bros Radio. Manny uses his podcast to discuss current black issues, music, sports, entertainment and more. He also discusses various issues on his social media pages. I’ve had the opportunity to interview him on other occasions as a freelance writer over the past few years. I wanted to get his opinion about everything that’s going on right now like the George Floyd protests, the Black Lives Matter movement, etc. Here’s what he had to say below:

Me: What was it like growing up in El Paso for you?

Manny: Growing up in El Paso was fun because I was a kid. We did kid stuff and that’s what we did. I lived in an area that was close knit. We were even close knit with the gangsters (aka cholos). I never had a problem growing up here. (Manny grew in the lower valley side of town.)

Me: You left El Paso for awhile but came back. Where did you like living most and why?

Manny: It doesn’t matter where I lived. I don’t have a favorite place. It’s whatever you make it when you’re there. My wife made our house a place that I call home. It’s not about where you live or how you live. It’s what you’re doing when you’re living.

Me: What are you doing these days?

Manny: I’ve been doing my Podcast “The Pooh Heff Show” for a year on iHeart Radio, Spotify, wherever you listen to podcasts. I have almost 80,000 subscribers. I’m trying to add more. I don’t depend on El Paso to support me like that. I created my own pathway to make money.

Me: I caught your recent interview with the local web site Fit Fam the other day. You discussed current events there too. What is your opinion on the George Floyd protests (sometimes peaceful and sometimes not) that are being held worldwide? Why do you think people are still protesting more than one week later?

Manny: We had to deal with Eric Garner’s murder of the same back in 2014. Nobody protested that. The police walked away and that’s what it was. Five or six murders after that were highly publicized. We know that over 50 were not publicized. This is the straw that broke the camel’s back. This is what people need to understand.

Me: What exactly is the Black Lives Matter movement? What does it mean to you? Manny: I don’t belong to that movement but I sympathize with it. It’s a group that fights injustices within the black community.

Me: Is there anything you would like to add?

Manny: No, I’m transparent. I’m just trying to make a footprint.

Photo from Manny Rich

6 comments

  1. Hi Lisa, I agree with what you and Keith said about the policemen in USA. Here in Germany there have been many demonstrations against the killing of George Floyd. Around the whole world there has been many demonstrations against his killing. We all want justice for George Floyd! Karin

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Some speak of defunding cops but I don’t think that’s the right thing to do. Things would get worse if that happens. You’re right, they need more accountability and more training. They need to be punished more too. Cops have literally gotten away with murder/acquitted after police brutality occurred. The cops are supposed to wear body cameras but that isn’t always happening. Had the Floyd murder not been recorded, the cops would most likely walked away freely. The issue definitely has some gray areas.

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  3. Lisa, the police have a hard job, but they will make it easier if they police themselves. There are far more decent police than the bad apples, but the bad apples exist. Plus, fear leads to bad decisions, so training, and more training is needed, as well as accountability. The Montgomery police chief now requires civil rights training for all officers, so they know context. He says it has made a huge difference on how to approach citizens of color. Yet, the police union and management must be a part of weeding out and punishing criminal behavior.

    Community policing is a key part of the solution, but they have to earn and maintain trust. I am pleased by the number of police officers who have joined the civil protests. Keith

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  4. I agree with you, Keith. All of these injustices have been happening for way too long. Blacks have been going through this for many years! It happens every single day. It happens to Latinos too but not at the same rate. Neither of it is OK. Another friend of mine told me they keep protesting because they want justice for other cases like Breonna Taylor, David McAtee and many others. Something needs to happen to make cops more accountable. I’m not sure what exactly…

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  5. Lisa, thanks for sharing this. Eric Garner also said “I can’t breathe” before he was choked to death over the very heinous accusation of selling contraband cigarettes. Why so much force for somethin so petty? Why did others not intervene? Keith

    Liked by 1 person

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