Protests amid racial tensions have swept the United States and our region. To address the issues underlying these tensions, WFXR is airing a series of conversations called “Stronger Together”. We will speak with activists, law enforcment, and local leaders to provide context and understanding to racial issues and cries for help.
A recent series of killings of black Americans, often at the hands of white law enforcement, were the spark for protests and calls for police reforms.
One local case that resulted in a controversial verdict and protests is the death of Linda Pierson, who was hit by a car in downtown Roanoke. Gene Gallimore will be released after about four months for the fatal hit-and-run. Protesters said the sentencing was too lenient for a man with a history of DUI who left the scene without trying to help Pierson.
The George Floyd video has also sparked a conversation about race. In the black community, “the talk” doesn’t mean explaining the birds and the bees, but instead refers to how to handle interactions with police, being aware of your surroundings, and worries about how young black men in particular may be treated. The first step is to increase understanding of the issues in the white community as well as the black community. Talking can help people understand the experience of people from different backgrounds.