YORK – About 7 p.m., Monday, approximately 20 people assembled outside the York County Courthouse to express their feelings about the racial tensions going on at this time.
They held signs that said “Black Lives Matter,” and “We Need Justice,” as well as “I Have A Dream.”
Dominique Sisk said he’s lived in York about three years, and as an African American man, he stopped to join the effort Monday night, “because I saw all these white folks down here and I didn’t want to leave them hanging. I’m originally from Little Rock, Ark., and there is more attention down there to this issue. I’ve experienced racism here, I’ve heard people say the N-word at the place that I worked because they thought it was hip.”
He said he’s been to jail in York County as well, and wasn’t in favor of outcomes from the local court.
Joe Wolfe said he was born and raised in New York, and “people here go to church and say they care but don't stand up. There is no room for hate. Some people use religion for hate. The people here protesting care more about others' lives than the people in church do.”
“It’s important to support what is going on,” said Nenia Wilson of York, as she held her sign along North Lincoln Avenue. “Yes, this affects even smaller towns.”
She said the deployment of the National Guard into areas of Nebraska, such as Lincoln and Omaha, “is a bad idea, because it will create more fear.”
Kaylee Gibson, also of York, who stood alongside of Wilson, said she noted that support from passing motorists was “about down the middle.”
“Some people have been very supportive and some people have been very negative,” said Deidra Freitas, also of York.
Freitas also noted that a variety of people had dropped off snacks and water, “and we are very mindful of making sure we will clean everything up. We appreciate their support. Our message is that in this country, for many years, a lot of things have happened and we have turned a blind eye, especially in a predominantly white society.”
14-year-old Caprice Nichelson, a York resident, said “half my family is black, half my family is white. The black side is profiled all the time. You shouldn’t die because of the color of your skin. Police brutality is world-wide. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Not all police are bad, not all blacks are thugs, I just think justice needs to be served.”
Mina Steicher of York said, “as a pregnant woman protesting, we need equality in the next generations. I just think we need to band together, even for those we don’t know.”
The group was asked how they felt about the property owners in Omaha and Lincoln that saw damage to their properties in the recent riots, even though they weren’t directly involved in the situation. Some said they felt those damaging activities were incited by outside groups. Some said they felt the “Black Panthers” and “groups from the 1960s” were responsible.
“I feel bad,” Steicher said. “Hopefully, those places can be rebuilt and insurance companies will pay. Lives can’t come back.”