TEXARKANA, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – A Justice for George Floyd march and voter registration drive took place Saturday afternoon in Texarkana, Texas.
Several dozen protesters gathered at the intersection of Robinson Rd. and New Boston Rd. holding signs as organizers called out people and businesses in Texarkana for racist behavior and speech and called for the eradication of institutional racism.
“It gives me hope. I never thought that we’d see something like this taking place in Texarkana. We’re in the center of the “Bible Belt”. It’s really important that everyone here is aware of that. That we’re not going to change by just protesting but holding one another accountable,” said Aylin Sozen, Protest Organizer.
Organizers also held a voter registration drive, “for how can we truly restructure the system and eradicate institutional racism without having a say so about who represents our needs?”
The protest continued with a march along New Boston Rd. and up to the McDonald’s on Summerhill Rd.
A Texarkana native, LaDarius Reid, said his purpose for protesting is to bridge the gap of the racial divide within his hometown. “Getting the people that are kind of in the middle or maybe a little bit on the right or a little bit to the left to understand the common goal. And to all come together as one.”
Like many of the people fighting for equality, one protester has a public service announcement for the Texarkana Region.
“The message I have is simple. You have two ears and one mouth. If you would listen more than you speak you might have the time to understand where we’re coming from, what we’re going through, what we’re here for, and the cause behind it. Don’t be so biased until you get an understanding of what it is,” said Kendrick Roquemore, Protester.
Another protester said she wants everyone to understand the racial discrimination black people experience.
“White privilege doesn’t mean that your life isn’t hard. It means that your skin color isn’t what made it hard. That we’ve never had to face those struggles and we don’t understand. And so I would like to send a message of empathy and understanding and hoping everyone can educate themselves to be better allies in the future,” said Molly Kyles, a Protester.
For more information on upcoming protests in Texarkana visit the”Justice for George Floyd Texarkana” Facebook page.