The Wilson Beacon

Students and Staff Protest Against Police Brutality


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BY EMMA BUZBEE, NEWS EDITOR

PHOTOGRAPHY BY: CARL STEWART

 

For a chilly 30 minutes on the morning of December 17, Wilson students stood outside of their school and protested racial profiling and brutality in the police force. They protested with chants, signs, speeches, poetry, and anger over personal experiences. What started off as a group of four students from the Human Rights Club grew increasingly larger as students and teachers of all races halted their regular routines and joined the protesters.

One of the original four protesters, junior Amara Evering, explained her reason for protesting was, “We want peace and justice for people of color.”

Assistant Principal Mary Beth Waits views racial profiling by police officers as a very personal issue. As a white child, “I was taught to believe that police were my friends. I would wave at them as they passed in their cars. I have yet to meet a black who doesn’t believe this is a crazy view.”

Waits’ late husband is a black man and they have a mixed race son together. This presents another personal aspect about racial profiling. “My son is seen by America as black. My son sees police officers as out to get him. He has been pulled over many times for DWB, driving while black.” One of the many chants shouted by the protesters was “I am not a target.” Waits shouted along, but with changed words more personal to her situation. As she chanted, “My son is not a target,” her eyes filled with tears and she was quickly comforted by a student standing next to her.

Other protesters described perceived societal issues as their reason for protesting. Sophomore Amanda Kartano said “This country bases itself on being diverse but segregates itself within this diversity.”

Freshman Alex Harris said he believed that the way to bring about change in inequality between races was to, “promote things like this [protests] to get the word out.”

Sophomore Rina Hoffman, before reciting a poem to the crowd, declared, “We are trying to make this more than a movement or a hashtag. We are making this a new world.”

 

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Students and Staff Protest Against Police Brutality