Diamond and Silk gained national attention in 2016, when they began to speak out about the hypocrisy of the progressive left. Their new book—“Uprising: Who the Hell Said You Can’t Ditch and Switch?”—explains why the African American sisters walked away from the left.
Diamond and Silk (aka Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson) join the “Problematic Women” podcast to discuss racial tensions in America, the agenda of Black Lives Matter, civics education, and their book.
We also break down the new Disney movie “Mulan” and controversy over Disney using the film’s end credits to offer “special thanks” to Chinese institutions directly linked to carrying out human rights abuses in China. Some scenes in the film were shot in Xinjiang, China, where Uighurs, a Muslim minority, are being persecuted.
Plus, we talk with journalist Alessandra Bocchi, the winner of the 2020 Joseph Rago Memorial Fellowship for Excellence in Journalism, a program of The Fund for American Studies. And as always, we’ll be crowning our “Problematic Woman of the Week.”
Enjoy the show!
Virginia Allen: We are so pleased to be joined by two truly problematic women, Diamond and Silk. Ladies, welcome to the show.
Diamond: Thank you. Thank you for having us.
Silk: Thank you. Thank you for having us.
Allen: Well, a huge congratulations to both of you, on your brand new book, “Uprising: Who the Hell Said You Can’t Ditch and Switch? The Awakening of Diamond and Silk.” For those who are not familiar with your story, can you just tell us a little bit about how you all came to be two very loud and proud conservative voices?
Diamond: Well, I don’t know. We’ve always, probably been loud.
Diamond: But it was, we was looking at the political field back in 2015. A candidate was running. We liked everything he was talking about because he was a businessman, and we just started speaking out about what we liked and the things that we didn’t like that was happening in our country. And then that just snowballed into what you see today.
Allen: What are you all most excited about for people to learn about you all when they pick up this book and read it?
Diamond: That we’re really real. A lot of people think is a persona. It’s not. This is us.
Diamond: When you look at some of these people on TV, they get paid millions to have a presence, a persona, you know?
Silk: Or jump into character.
Diamond: Right. We don’t have to jump into character, because we’ve always been ourselves. We’ve never stopped being ourselves. And I think it’s an amazing thing, when you can wake up being yourself, do what you do, be yourself without making apologies for being yourself. Some people can’t do that.
Allen: Yeah, no. I think people really appreciate that about you all—is you are so real. When you all decided to get involved in the political scene, to start speaking out, were you all surprised by the response that you received?
Diamond: We were very surprised, because remember, we only had seven people on our YouTube channel. So, even so, we didn’t know all of these people were going to hear us. That was one.
We was equally surprised that you had those that love it, but you had those that didn’t like it, and so, those were the ones we had to educate. So, if anybody, if they threw hate, what we did, we educated them, is what we did.
Allen: And that’s still what you’re doing today? You’re still educating; you’re still speaking out.
Diamond: That’s right.
Allen: But now you have the very large following and platform. What has that been like, to go from having those 10 followers to all of a sudden, you have this massive following and now a book?
Diamond: Well, Oh, God, the journey has been a joy, and we are humbled by it. God … God ordered all of this. He ordered our steps, and He led and guide us in the right direction, like He continues to do. So, all we can say is, the journey has been amazing.
If you ever want to make God laugh, tell him your plans, because we had plans for none of this, and look at what happened.
But understand this here. When you give of your time, your service, your voice, without expecting anything in return, the return comes tenfold, without you even realizing what’s going on.
So, you ask the question, like this here, “Are you a giver or taker?” And let me explain to you the difference. A giver gives without expecting anything in return. A taker gives and always expects something in return.
When we started this, we wasn’t expecting anything in return. We just knew that we wanted change. Immediate change, drastic change. And look.
Silk: That’s right. I can also just say that the journey has also been authentic. We didn’t try to make anything happen. We just let it happen.
Silk: And here we are today.
Allen: Here you are with this awesome new book, “Uprising: Who the Hell Said you Can’t Ditch and Switch?” Ladies, we are at such a critical moment in history right now. America is really wrestling with racial injustice.
As a nation, do you all believe that we are suffering from systemic racism?
Diamond: Well, first of all, is it racial injustice? And when you talk about systematic racism, is it really racism? Because systematic racism is really a form of discrimination. So, is it really systematic racism? It should be called systematic discrimination, because anybody can face that, whether you [are] white or whether you [are] black … .
That’s what I want people to understand. And that’s discrimination within the systems, whether it’s political or whether it’s educational. The construct of the system is allowed to discriminate against certain people.
Let’s look at affirmative action. That’s a form of discrimination. That’s a form of systemic racism. It don’t have anything to do with your skin color. So, do systemic racism exist? When you start looking at the constructs of the system and how this white left-leaning liberal set them up, because who owns most of the media? Who owns Hollywood? Who owns a lot of these systems, that if you don’t believe in their ideology, you can’t even get your feet in the door?
So, yes, there is a such thing as systematic … We call it discrimination because it don’t have anything to do with your race, because anybody can experience that type of discrimination.
Allen: So, let’s talk for a moment about Black Lives Matter, the organization. We can all agree 100% black lives matter. Yes. Let’s talk, though, specifically about the organization.
Do you all think the way in which Black Lives Matter is advocating for black Americans is working?
Diamond: OK. So, let me say this here. We believe that black lives matter. We believe all lives matter. Let’s get that straight. But when you look at this propaganda organization that you have people out in the streets pumping their fists to, that want to disrupt and dismantle the nuclear family, so what they’re really saying is that they don’t want to see a mother and a father in the household, or a black child don’t deserve that.
They’re pushing this Marxism, which is a sign of socialism and communism. It is the most craziest thing.
Now, this particular organization, if it truly cared about black lives, the hundreds of millions of dollars that’s been taken in, where does that money go to? Is it going to a black life?
Silk: That’s right.
Diamond: Is it going to build up a black community? Is it going to some of these black businesses that was burned down in the riots because of what happened to George Floyd?
So, think about that for a minute. So no, no, no, no, no. I don’t believe in this particular organization. And what baffles and bothers us is, why are corporations pumping tens of millions of dollars into this organization, that wants to disrupt and dismantle the nuclear family, that’s pushing socialism and communism, that’s OK with people out here committing crimes and criminalities? …
So, no, this organization does not speak for black people. It’s a propaganda organization, and it’s not even being ran by black people, if you really want my humble opinion. It’s my opinion. I’ll allege it.
Silk: That’s right. But you have black lives that’s being used as a pawn to push a white [liberal] agenda.
Allen: What needs to change? What would you all like to see shift, whether it’s shift at Black Lives Matter, or what do you want to see maybe from a new organization?
Diamond: Let me tell you what needs to change in our country. We need equal, is what we need. See, back in the ’60s, they was fighting for our civil rights. OK? And in my mind, I’m like, why wasn’t they just fighting for equal rights?
But you had Lyndon B. Johnson. He wanted to give them enough to keep them quiet, but not enough to make a difference. You see what I’m talking about? So, what black people did back in the ’60s, they just put the little crumbs of civil rights.
We don’t need a certain, different rights than the rest of America. What it needs to be is an equal playing field across the playing field. If you go to a bank as a white woman, and you can get a loan for a house with the same credit score, as me as a black woman, I should be able to walk up in that same bank, and do the same thing that you can do.
So, it needs to be fair and equal. All of this extra, “I need this because for my community, I need that for my community.” Listen, we stay in the greatest country on earth. This is the land of the free, the home of the brave. So we got to be brave enough.
Wait a minute, you all. Stop the skin color. We are Americans! We’re one race. That’s the human race. We are Americans, and we are treated equally around here. Then, therefore, you won’t have all of these groups: “We need this. Well, we need that.” Well, we’re not getting that.
Silk: Because usually what you do as you segregate yourself, but when you look at Black Lives Matter, I look at that as a racist organization, for the simple fact you don’t see white people walking around here talking about white lives matter, and if you did, they would be calling them racists.
So, we need to stop segregating ourselves based off the color of our skin and realize that we’re all Americans, and it’s only one race, and that’s a human race.
Allen: Ladies, I think it’s so, so critical right now in our nation to bring that message of unity. So, thank you all for so boldly speaking out on that message.
I want to pivot and just ask a little bit about education and what we’re seeing in our schools right now. Kids are going back to school, albeit, many of them online. And there is a conversation about history and changing the way we teach history to our children in schools.
What do you all think about this?
Diamond: I don’t think that they should dismantle our history. Don’t tear it down. Don’t get rid of it. Don’t burn the books. I think that history should be taught, including black history. I think that people should know how things started and where things come from and why. If we get rid of this, it’s doomed to repeat itself.
See, I watch them. They tear down the statues. They upset with a white statue that can’t feed you, can’t clothe you, can’t give you a job. Right? And then you want to say, “We don’t need to teach this because …”
No. People need to know where we come from, everybody come from, so we won’t be doomed what we’ve been through, so we won’t be doomed to repeat it. So, I’m for keeping history in the school and not dismantling it or getting rid of it because some feel uncomfortable with it.
This is the past. This is what happened. This is why we’re teaching it, because we don’t want this to happen again. But if you take it away from these young people, this out here in the street, being anti-America, imagine what our country is going to look like within the next 10 years, because they don’t know no better. They don’t know no better. They don’t know. They only lived here, where they was born free.
Silk: That’s right.
Diamond: They was born free in this country. You don’t know nothing about no communism and no socialism.
You got a cellphone. Listen, when we we’re coming up, we didn’t have no cellphone. I think what it was, we had pagers, if you were to page yourself. We didn’t have no cellphones.
You’ve got something, a small gadget, where you can call somebody on the other side of the world. That’s freedom. That’s freedom. Walk outside and do what you want to. That’s freedom. You don’t know nothing about living in no other country.
What’s greater? What’s greater than this country. I always say this. When people from Cuba and Venezuela come to this country, they come to this country because they have somewhere to run to.
If we allow these left-leaning liberals, these radicals, to teach this ideology of hiding this country to our young people, where are we going to run to? We stay in the greatest country on earth. Where are we going to run to?
And that’s why it’s imperative. I’m for school choice. I’m not for these teachers teaching this radicalism about hating the flag and hating this country. Well, we’re the greatest country on earth, and this is all these young people know. They never been no slave. You weren’t born into slavery. You’re free over here. You’re not an illegal alien.
Silk: That’s right.
Diamond: You are free! That’s what they need to know.
Allen: The New York Times, the 1619 Project has already been adopted by a number of schools across the country. Are you [at] all concerned by how quickly it seems like so many Americans are willing to just embrace this new narrative, that has been put forth that essentially cancels the Founders?
Diamond: Are they embracing it, or are they being bullied into it? Think about it. Think about it for a minute. When a bully bullies somebody, the person that’s being bullied don’t like it. And oftentimes, the person that’s being bullied will become the bully, to keep from being bullied. Does that make sense?
Allen: It does make sense. Yeah. Powerful.
Diamond: Are they being bullied into this, or are they really going along with it? That’s the question you need to ask them.
Allen: Well, and in some ways that’s scarier.
Diamond: It’s very scary. It’s very scary. And that’s why if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. And that’s why you can’t just sit … .
Silk: And that’s part of tyranny as well.
Diamond: That’s right.
Silk: That’s part of tyranny and dictatorship, when you look at it.
Diamond: That’s why you can’t convince two black chicks like Diamond and Silk, who’s down with politics, to just go along with anything to get along. Some people just go along to get along, knowing darn well, it’s not right.
Don’t cancel our history. Don’t cancel our forefathers. We need to know where we come from, where this country’s been, so it won’t be doomed to repeat itself.
Silk: Sure. But you got to also realize that the Democrat party has a nasty, racist pious that they’re trying to remove.
Diamond: Let’s call it the left. Let’s not even talk about the party. Let’s call it the left, because some of these people have an ideology where they literally want to destroy our country. No, no, no, no. We can’t let that happen. We can’t.
Allen: Well, you mentioned that past, that history. Do you mind just explaining that for a minute?
Diamond: Well, when you look at our history, where we’ve been through, I don’t want to put politics in it, but the main thing that they do in this country is, they try to pick and divide us … and they always bring it up, slavery. And they always claim, “Well, we need something. We need reparations, and this and that,” not telling the whole truth; meaning, how did we get sold? How did our ancestors get sold into slavery? It was the black man that sold the black man. It’s a slavery.
But when you leave crucial parts out about history, and you have one narrative that you push, to get people to react and respond a certain way, you do a disservice to everybody, because first of all, you started the narrative off with a lie, a half-truth. You didn’t tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth about it.
Silk: But that’s because you have one side pushing them the narrative.
Diamond: That’s right. And everybody being bullied into going along with the narrative. That’s what the media do, too. You just mentioned New York Times. That’s part of the media. So … .
Silk: That’s right.
Diamond: … That’s not surprising.
Allen: Now, I know that you all are very much not alone in the African American community, as far as having very conservative views. But I think some people are just scared to speak up. They’ve been bullied, to actually be afraid to share their own opinions.
What are you all hearing from other African Americans right now, in regards to the direction of the nation? Are they pleased with where things are going, where things are headed?
Diamond: Well, I will tell you this, what we’re hearing. The stuff that you see happening in the streets, especially when it pertains to black America’s looting and committing criminality, the majority of black Americans don’t agree with that. They don’t go along with it. They’re not pumping their fists to a Black Lives Matter organization. They’re not.
The one thing that they understand is that, for the past four years, they’ve been able to experience prosperity, peace, low unemployment, high home ownership, and other things. Given a second chance through the First Step [criminal justice reform] back and things of that nature.
They don’t want to go to anarchy and disruption, and all of this chaos and this confusion. So, a lot of people, people of color, don’t go along with this foolishness.
But let me just tell you something. Back in 2015, it took two black women, Diamond and Silk. We spoke out on how we felt.
Silk: That’s right.
Diamond: And the more they hate, the more we continue to educate.
And now, we have given people the permission to speak out, have the courage to speak out. And if you look, you notice. You’re starting to see people step it up and speak out.
Silk: That’s right.
Diamond: They’re not staying silent anymore. And the ones are staying silent, they may have to do that because of their job or because they don’t want to get ostracized, criticized, or vilified. And we understand that. But for the ones that have the courage to do, bless you.
Allen: Ladies, there’s one final question I have to ask you. We love to ask everyone who comes on this show—whether or not they consider themselves to be a feminist.
Diamond: I’m going to tell you like this here. I’m not going to take, and I’m not going to label myself. I’m a label myself. I’m an American that loves America, but I want you to understand something. I also love our men, and our men can’t fly with one wing.
So, I don’t like when they try to take and they demonize and feminize our men and throw them in the closet, as if women, we can take it on and handle everything. We need our men. So, I’m not going to label myself as a feminist. I’m an American that love this country and love our flag.
Silk: Amen to that. I second all of that.
Allen: That’s great. Great answer. Thank you all so much.
The book is “Uprising: Who the Hell Said You Can’t Ditch and Switch? The Awakening of Diamond and Silk.” You can get it wherever books are sold. We’ll be sure to put a link in today’s show notes so you can order your copy. Diamond and Silk, thank you all for being here.
Diamond: Thank you for having us.
Silk: Thank you for having us.