“We need our 1776,” one protester said.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. ― Protesters have flooded the streets of North Carolina’s largest city since 43-year-old Keith Scott was shot and killed by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police on Tuesday.
Many of those demonstrating are frustrated and tired of carrying the weight that comes with being black in America.
The Huffington Post asked them to share what they want everyone to know about race in America ― unfiltered and uncensored.
Here’s what they said.
“We will not be able to fight oppression, we will not be able to live in a system that was created for white men by white men … we need to completely abolish incarceration, abolish the police department ― and that’s when we’ll be able to get a chance.”
―Catherine Farmer, 18
“It begins with us, it begins with the people. Until we begin to educate ourselves and educate our children on what racism truly is and what systemic racism is and what injustice is, nothing will ever change. Right now, we’re still caught up in a world where the old guard still runs things. And it’s very important for us as a whole ― black, white, Latino, Hispanic ― to come together to make these kind of changes. It’s destroying our country right now. It’s creating a division.”
“It’s not healthy for us at all. Right now, our people is being targeted. When I say ‘our people,’ I mean minorities. We’re being targeted by blue.”
―Maurice Fair, 36
“It’s real, it’s a thing ― and just because others haven’t experienced it doesn’t mean it’s not real. We live it every day, so it needs to stop. No lives will matter until black lives matter, too.”
―Cindy Robinson, 32
“[We need] more awareness in the justice system. A lot of people don’t understand the justice system or their rights.”
―Mario The Mic Man
“This isn’t anything unique, this isn’t a new situation that we’re in ― you know what I’m saying. Ever since America was established in the 1700s, we’ve been in this place. If people really wanna get out, we’re going to have to start exercising tactics that haven’t been exercised before.
A lot of the things that we’re doing right now are things that we’ve done … in the past. Doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of someone who’s insane.
We can’t be insane. We’re gonna have to try to do something different. We gotta realize that this isn’t a new problem. This is not something that’s extraordinary ― this is actually very ordinary. We’re gonna have to really put our brains together and utilize all tactics to get liberation.”
―Dhoruba Shakur, 26
“The biggest problem in this nation is hypocrisy. America doesn’t seem to understand that she has become to black people what Britain was to her. When the constituents of the king were hung by [the] founding fathers, it was considered to be patriotism.
But, before that, they were considered to be terrorists. When you sit here and say that we can’t burn down buildings ― that wasn’t the case when you were doing destruction of property. And those who participated in it was held as martyrs during the Boston Tea Party.
It’s hypocrisy ― left and right, all across the board. We need to do what they’ve done. We need our 1776. They didn’t beg Britain to leave them alone. They didn’t beg for Britain to stop giving them taxation without representation. They did what they needed to do.”