Our Monday newscast featured Moab’s demonstration for Black Lives Matter. We heard about different actions held throughout the evening – the silent vigil, a march through downtown stretching three blocks long, and a peaceful blockade across Main Street. Local organizers also shared reflections with the crowd, appealing to each demonstrator to help bring about change. So today on the extended newscast, we’ll take you to that moment in particular, where community organizers raised their voices to shed light on systemic racism and oppression.
Listen to the story on the left, and read along below.
I appreciate everyone listening right now…I was asked to help hold space today as a representative of Moab Pride. We strive – for those that don’t know – as an organization to hold space and diversify Moab. Not just in an LGBTQ way, but for every people from all over – of all different backgrounds, races and religions. So look up that work and help us do it.
I am here today as a proxy. This is the Black Lives Matter movement. It is a movement by and for black and brown people who are being killed in the streets by police. I am here to share some thoughts with y’all that were shared at the vigil that we held…
If you are not already following black and brown people on social media who are part of this movement and following their lead in allyship – you are not doing it appropriately.
The other thing I want to say and it’s really important to me. And these are notes passed by a QT POC – a Queer Trans Person of Color – who is in our community and who wishes to remain anonymous because of safety. We as a community are responsible for holding police accountable. We do not have a history of brutality, but we need to know that our police are going through anti bias training. And un-learning the systemic racism that affects all of us.
Thank you for being here, police, and for being a part of the conversation. But we expect you to do your job and learn. As a community member, I’m not aware – I’m sure they do escalation trainings. I would like all of us to hold our police department accountable for what those trainings are.
There’s been a lot of confusion about this event. And we want to be clear that we are here – my voice is here – supporting the space that this teenager, Ash, has been holding for our community. He is trying to be the ally that we need in this community to help open this space and have a conversation [on] why most of the people in this crowd right now are white.
Thank you for showing up. Everyone give a warm welcome to Ash.
I just want to thank you all for coming tonight. I think it’s really important that we stand together with our brothers and sisters who are killed unjustly for their skin color every day. It really warms my heart to have you all out here – white, black, brown, purple, whatever color you are. I think it’s important to stand up for social injustice because injustice to one is injustice to all.
I am here alongside my brothers and sisters who were killed, and I will not stop standing until they stop being killed for their skin color. And I believe it’s important for all of us to take that stand now and always.
I know a lot of people are scared to be out here right now; I know this is a very weird community…I know we don’t have a lot of the equality that we wish we could have in this town. And I know a lot of people of color are really scared to step up right now. And that’s why I took the chance to step up when I could, because I know some of you are scared, and I understand that. I’m scared. It’s a scary situation. But it’s time for us to stand up against scary situations and have these difficult conversations in these small towns and make a difference. And I am so proud of you all for being here tonight. Thank you.
I’m not a public speaker and I was not prepared to be doing this. But to see you all here listening to me and taking your time about your day, to stand not only with me, but with everyone. I love you guys. Each and every one of you.
Thank you all for coming down and thank you for showing your support. Please do not stop – please sign petitions, please call your local government, please make a change, get registered to vote. Do what you can in your community right now to make a difference.
Okay, I don’t have much else to say, except Black Lives Matter! Let’s fight the good fight together and be on the right side of history!
…This is not the time for white performative action, this is not the time for white tears. This isn’t the space for non-people of color to express how they’re affected by the way black people find their liberation. White people – stop occupying and colonizing our movement. White allies who have listened to the oppressed, who have held space for the marginalized and echoed their voices. We see all of you. We stand with you hand in hand while we dismantle this system!