CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Here in Charleston, the African American community is reacting to the protests yesterday.
African Americans say they’re in shock at what happened at the capitol and that it’s time people just accept the election results.
“At first, I thought it was a joke. I literally thought I was watching a movie or something I thought it was staged,” Martec Washington, community member said. “Systematic racism is real here. If that were me, if that were you, if that was anyone else of color, we would have been dead. It would have been a massacre. They would still be picking up dead bodies from the grounds of the capitol building.”
“I thought that most American citizens would have enough respect for the hallowed places of government,” Rev. Matthew Watts, Pastor of Grace Bible Church said.
Most people are concerned about the lack of police presence during the protest yesterday, but just a few months ago it was a different scene on capitol hill when Black Lives Matter protests were happening.
“I was literally watching people climb into windows at the capitol building in the United States of America. If you don’t understand the white privilege exists, then I don’t know what other proof you need,” Washington said.
Others say a lot of the uproar over the election results is a direct link to president trump’s actions on social media and at his rallies across the U.S.”
“It’s quite troubling that where we are as a nation right now and we have a president that continues to stoke these coals and these emperors and will not let them cool,” Rev. Watts said.
Washington, a black lives matter organizer, says his role is to hold people accountable for their actions and be a public voice for change.
“We’re shushed. We’re told to shut up. We’re told to sit down. We’re called boy. I’ve been called the “N” word I don’t know how many times. It’s just because the color of my skin,” Washington said.
Rev. Watts says everyone concerned about the nation need to unite after yesterday’s events.
“To apply ourselves and do everything we can to ratchet everything down and try to get people to realize that we have to coexist and whether we like to outcome of an election or not we must be prepared to accept it,” Rev. Watts said.
More protests are expected throughout the next couple of weeks as Joe Biden prepares to take the presidency.