Black Lives Matter Protest on campus

Staff Writer: Jarren Cottingham

WINGATE– Wingate student-athletes organized a peaceful protest to raise awareness to the recent social injustice and police brutality towards the black community. 

Tension between the African American community and the police force is high at this point in time. Throughout 2020, the many police killings and brutality towards blacks has caused an uproar across America and has sparked many protest nationwide. 

The main cause was to bring attention to the social injustices and police brutality towards the black community. Kalen Clark, Wingate football player, talked about his decision to start the protest. 

“I saw some of my old high school teammates doing protest about BLM at their universities and seeing them do it inspired me to do it here at Wingate as well,” Clark said.

The march was set to begin at Irwin Belk Stadium and proceed to the steps of the Stegall building in the center of campus. Masks were required and everyone in attendance adhered to the requirement. 

Marchers included Wingate students as well as Alum and even residents of the neighboring towns. Some fellow Alum voiced their opinions on the protest.

“I feel as if the protest can affect the Wingate campus in a good way because now the issue at hand has been addressed,” graduate Jaleen Miller said. 

There were powerful messages delivered by fellow members of the Wingate community including multiple football players, basketball players, track runners, and even by Wingate’s men’s basketball coach, Marcus Kirkland.

“Years ago, we wouldn’t be able to do this. We have to take our opportunity to demand change in the system now,” Kirkland said. 

Numerous participants expressed their hope for people outside of the black community to really see what is going on not only outside of Wingate, but on campus as well.

“So now that faculty and students are aware that ‘hey racism is also on this campus and we need to address this problem at hand and make sure everyone has a great college experience,’” Miller added. 

For things to change, many believe that it must start with the areas they are in the most, but the main goal is for the Wingate community to reach outside of campus.

“I want to see people from the Wingate community spreading love and supporting the Black Lives Matter Movement and not looking at black people wanting to be the ‘best’ race but instead looking to give equality to all humans of any color,” Clark said. 

Not only is it important for the black people to play their part, but it is crucial for nonblacks to play theirs as well.

“For this effect to expand, nonblacks have to speak up as well,” Miller said.  “You can’t be silent in regards to racism and say you love everybody. You have to stand up for what is right and that’s how the effect can expand.”

Wingate students all over have used social media to voice their concern with the violence taking place between police and African Americans.

The common theme is demanding change and sticking up for what’s right whether you are any race. People are tired and are ready for real change in the world and equality for all.

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