Black activists: City resolution just the beginning to end systematic racism

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CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — The City of Charleston has adopted a resolution declaring Black lives matter and reaffirmed city policies and ordinances prohibiting discrimination.

Leaders in the Black community said the resolution has good intent on paper, but wonder how it will actually be put into practice.

Monday night, the Council unanimously adopted the resolution also proclaiming support for community members who have engaged in peaceful protest.

Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin said, “Council felt that it was important to stand up as one and say that we support all your citizens and their right to peacefully protest.”

Community activists pushing for more traiing within the Charleston Police Department commended the city for passing the resolution, but are unsure of how it will be applied.

Rev. Ronald English said, “one of the things and the whole notion behind Black Lives Matter is about the police and how the police see the community and how the community sees the police, and until those issues are addressed or unleashed, then this is going to continue in a kind of way wondering whether we are dealing with something that is a movement or whether we’re dealing with something that’s in the moment.”

Another resolution was also passed during the virtual meeting that requests the Charleston Historic Landmarks Commission to prepare a proposal that presents a new monument at Ruffner Park, which would replace the Kanawha Riffleman Memorial, which was removed by the city on Monday, June 29, 2020.

In a time where masks are mandated, some community activists like Rev. English, believe the memorial’s removal is only the beginning of an effort to lift the veil of racism.

“And that’s why we talk about transparency so that the masks will continue to come off and when they’re coming off like that, then you realistically and honestly can work out a resolution,” English said.

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