Monday, June 08, 2020

Racial justice protests happening in rural areas too

Chad Jones of Holland, Ark. (photo provided)
Thousands of communities, some in foreign countries, have held demonstrations over the past week to protest the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other people of color at the hands of law enforcement, as well as general racial and ethnic inequality. But such protests aren't limited to big cities: some are happening in small towns.

Some are college towns, like State College, Pa., and Morehead, Ky.; such communities tend to have younger and more liberal residents, Alisha Ebrahimji reports for CNN. Others are smaller, agrarian communities like Holland, Ark., pop. 552. Local farmer Chad Jones staged a one-man protest recently because he wanted to show that "not all small towns come with small minds."

"Demonstrators marched and chanted for racial justice in Corbin, Morehead, Barbourville, Richmond and many more Kentucky cities and towns," the Lexington Herald-Leader reports. Corbin had "a notorious incident in October 1919 in which a white mob forced scores of black people out of town." In Midway, between Lexington and Frankfort, dozens of locals drew anti-racism messages on sidewalks Saturday, the Midway Messenger reports.

Hundreds of residents in small, politically conservative towns in southern Illinois have protested in recent days. As one protester said: "We don’t want Franklin County to be known for its racism. This is more about bringing the community together more than anything else," Molly Parker reports for The Southern Illinoisian.

In Ontario, Oregon, pop. 11,366, hundreds came out for a protest Thursday where local educators, organizers, and government officials gave speeches and shared stories about their experiences with ethnic and gender inequality, Rachel Parsons reports for the Malheur Enterprise.

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