Ten-year-old Maia Goldberg and her mom, Cori Goldberg, were in Santa Monica Monday morning cleaning up after the looting on Sunday.
Cori, a Santa Monica middle school history teacher, says she took her daughter to walk peacefully in the protests to bear witness to what was happening and stand up for the #BlackLivesMatter movement. And as they watched the events unfold on Sunday night, she wanted to take her daughter back to the area they had just marched in to help clean up the community.
“With all of the heated tension, I thought it was so important to be part of the solution versus part of the problem,” Cori Goldberg explains.
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As Cori was talking with another teacher from Santa Monica, Maia says she overheard a man yelling and swearing at a news crew. She says she didn't know why he was yelling, but paused to watch the scene unfold while a friend recorded the incident.
The unidentified man can be seen and heard swearing at a member of a news crew, who did not appear to react or respond on the video. At this moment, Maia says she felt compelled to speak up.
On the video you can hear her say, “Excuse me? Can you please leave him alone? I don’t think he likes that.”
Maia says she tried to talk herself out of saying anything, but decided it was better to try to speak up and defuse the situation if she could.
“I was really scared, but then the words just slipped out,” Maia says. “I didn’t know if he was going to start yelling at me or be in shock, but I got lucky. He was in shock.”
The Goldbergs say the man walked away after that and they stopped to talk to the news crew, who thanked them for their kindness. Cori says she was proud of her daughter for speaking out.
“My first instinct was mama bear,” Cori says. “But when I found out what happened I couldn’t be prouder. My number one goal in life is to always stand up and support kids who can’t defend themselves and that’s the lesson I’ve always taught my daughter.”