Early on, as she challenged the white group about their image of hate, a person who gave the impression to be an individual of shade took their facet, saying he had served within the navy “to defend this flag.”
“No you didn’t, you fought to defend a flag that had 50 stars on it,” Smith-Rayfield shot again.
“I’m not going to argue with a person of shade about that flag, it’s silly,” she stated, as the person continued heatedly defending the precise of white folks to show the Accomplice flag. When he stated that she, not the racists, was the one bothering folks, Smith-Rayfield stated of the Accomplice flag: “It ought to hassle everybody on this rattling seaside.”
“That proper there’s a racist image of hate. My query to you is, how does that flag maintain any relevance to you right now on this nation right now? You vote in elections which have 50 stars on the flag. What does that flag should do with right now? In the event you aren’t a racist, then why are you holding that flag up?”
At one level, Smith-Rayfield even supplied to purchase the towel from the group, proffering $20 and suggesting that if it was actually only a towel to them, not an emblem, that was a great deal for them. They didn’t take it. As a result of fairly clearly it was not only a towel for them. These folks wished consideration, which can be why they’d one and solely one in every of their towels hanging on the fence. One of many racists at one level accused Smith-Rayfield of wanting consideration, however they had been very clearly on the market making an attempt to attract consideration to hate.
Earlier than Smith-Rayfield arrived on the seaside, Evanston Mayor Steve Hagerty had seen stories of the flag being displayed, had gone and appeared and, not seeing it, had declared the stories faux information. Later, he acknowledged that it had in actual fact been displayed however stated a seaside supervisor requested them to take the flag down. After Smith-Rayfield’s video unfold, he apologized and described it as “an awesome instance of confronting hate,” including: “Her braveness and persistence is admirable and an instance for all of us.”
Additionally after Smith-Rayfield left the seaside, a bunch of protesters arrived with Black Lives Matter signs and stayed till the racists left. A rally against racism is planned for July 31 at 2 PM ET on Lighthouse Seashore in Evanston, Illinois.
However this video is concurrently great for instance of braveness and terrible as a result of you may completely hear the toll the encounter takes on Smith-Rayfield, a instructor and mom of 4 and, for me, a highschool good friend. She stands sturdy, however her voice cracks. She struggles to not scream or swear or do something that may make her the unreasonable individual within the encounter—one thing she’s been accused of in hateful feedback nonetheless. And what you don’t see till the top of the video is that she was accompanied by her teenage kids.
This type of fortitude shouldn’t be required of individuals to claim their primary humanity and proper to get pleasure from their neighborhood seaside with out being confronted by symbols of the enslavement of their ancestors. This type of composure shouldn’t be vital within the face of indolent, smug bigotry like these white beachgoers displayed. And, as she stated when a white onlooker apologized to her as she left, “I don’t want apologies, I want motion.”
Nobody was bodily injured. Nobody was arrested for the crime of Blackness. However this act of racism nonetheless harm folks.