A provocative protest was held to go against the racist video circulating from Alabama high school students in the past week.
Protesters with the Birmingham Justice League arrived at Hoover Toyota in Hoover, Alabama, Saturday, March 9, to call for more diversity within the state’s school system, businesses, sororities and fraternities and the local government. The peaceful protest saw participants dressed in makeshift Ku Klux Klan robe,s and it lasted for 90 minutes, AL.com reported.
“Without the Holocaust, what would the world be like?” a male student wonders aloud.
“All of the n—ers would not be here,” a female student shouts off-camera.
At one point, the same student says, “We just need n—ers gone. Mixed Oreos? What are you gonna do with them?”
Gordon Stewart is apparently the father of the female student, and he owns the dealership where the protest took place. Last Monday he posted a note onto Hoover Toyota’s Facebook page acknowledging his daughter, Mackenzie acted “completely out of character” and “outside the morals and principles” her parents instilled in her. He also condemned any form of racism and bigotry and said Mackenzie extends her “heartfelt apologies” for her behavior.
At the protest, Birmingham Justice League adviser Iva Williams explained why they wore the faux KKK costumes to drive their point across.
“Our children are crying out right now that there is a race problem in Hoover,” Williams told AL.com Saturday. “We feel that racism is taught in the home. Children don’t come out the womb racists and bigoted. We are saying to the parents of that little girl that we disagree with her way of thinking.”
He said he figuratively wants to “join the KKK” in acknowledgment of the fact that the only way to make effective change is to start from the inside.
“We will be dues-paying, card-carrying members so we can change their way of thinking and maybe introduce them to some things to promote love, fellowship, neighborhood, community, and all of those things. Change comes from within,” Williams explained further, noting he personally won’t do it but Black men in general will.
Stewart was working during the protest, and although he and Williams did not speak, he welcomed the organization’s right to publicly object to what his daughter and her fellow high school students said on camera.
“We respect their right to do that,” Stewart said. “We want to protest this, too. This is a detestable thing.”
And despite Facebook commenters putting the blame on him for what his daughter said, the dealership owner also maintained what Mackenzie said was not something she learned at home. He said she could have picked it up from social media, friends, movies or music.
Stewart also noted his daughter is attending diversity training sessions, including the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a nonprofit the civil rights organization initially led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The protest comes not only after the racist video circulated last weekend but also following other racist incidents which have involved students from both schools.
Spain Park previously had an incident in September where a student shouted the n-word over and over, causing concern in a Black mother for her daughter. Hoover High put a teacher on leave when she demanded students “turn the n—-r tunes off” when referring to Tupac’s “Dear Mama.”
I did ask Williams to clarify what he meant by “We want to join to KKK”. He said he was speaking metaphorically and talked about how there needs to be more diversity on city councils, fraternities and sororities, colleges, etc. pic.twitter.com/12hkWH7Tri
— Jonece Starr Dunigan (@StarrDunigan) March 9, 2019