CLEMSON, S.C. — When Gabrien Gillespie watched the video of George Floyd dying less than a Minneapolis police officer’s knee, he believed of Sharonda Singleton. And he thought of her when he listened to how police shot and killed Breonna Taylor, a Louisville EMT, as she sat in her property.
Singleton was 1 of the nine men and women massacred by a white supremacist at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church in 2015.
Gillespie, a junior at Clemson College and a Charleston indigenous, performed baseball with Singleton’s son and understood her well.
She was at the forefront of his brain once again Saturday as he marched through downtown Clemson, indicator in hand, with about 3,000 other people today in a call for racial equality.
“That’s a person of the point which is just in the back again of my head all the time,” he reported.
The demonstration, which started at Clemson University’s Bowman Area, was structured by members of the school’s soccer team: managing back Darien Rencher, quarterback Trevor Lawrence, linebacker Mike Jones Jr., and wide receiver Cornell Powell.
Speaking to the throngs of individuals who gathered for the rally, Rencher explained he hopes the demonstration will only be the commencing of more substantial modify at the university and outside of.
“Disgrace on everybody, shame on Clemson football, shame on us if we just came below to have a significant gathering,” he claimed. “We came jointly to be unified and, when we leave, to acquire methods.”
Head soccer coach Dabo Swinney, who released Lawrence and Rencher, claimed now is a time to pay attention to all those most impacted by racial inequity.
“Our gamers experienced the courage to communicate out, along with so lots of gorgeous students on this campus, about their concerns, their emotions, about the buildings on this campus,” he told the crowd.
As demonstrations proceed to sweep the place in the wake of Floyd’s dying, Clemson University is attempting to reckon with racist elements of its earlier.
On Friday, the faculty announced it was altering the identify of Calhoun Honors University, which was named for John C. Calhoun, a secessionist and slave owner who also was vice president of the United States.
The school has requested authority from the point out General Assembly to improve the title of Tillman Hall, named for former Gov. Ben Tillman, who fully commited functions of racial terror.
The building’s identify is protected by the SC Heritage Act that necessitates a two-thirds vote from the Legislature to make modifications to any historic monuments.
Adrian Wilson, a Clemson senior and one of the march’s organizers, stated the protesters want to contact focus to the buildings on Clemson’s campus named for historical figures who promoted white supremacy and the subjugation of Black people.
“For me, it really is about what I can do to make a modest alter and what I can do to tell and educate people today,” Wilson said just before the march. “I felt like I essential to do my part to make confident these persons usually are not honoring these persons who did horrendous issues in our record.”