BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - LSU and SU students rallied for unity Friday night (June 12) as a national dialogue on race continues after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on George Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, killing him.
Black students led the discussion, talking primarily to each other. They called for an end to social media debates about whether African Americans are better off at historically black colleges or primarily white institutes.
“There’s just so much miscommunication between the both of us,” LSU student and rally participant, Kenneth White, said. “Right now, we can both come together and just kind of peacefully speak our mind.”
The students argued they could bring the City of Baton Rouge closer together by embracing uncomfortable discussions about race and disparity.
Speakers challenged the crowd of several hundred to make their schools or employers prove they value equity and inclusion. The group celebrated work some LSU students have already started on renaming the school’s library for someone other than a former president who opposed integration.
The Enough is Enough: Rally for Unity took place in free speech alley in front of the LSU Student Union. LSU says coaches, student athletes, and staff members were among the participants.
“What’s happening right now in our lifetime is we are witnessing the demand of social change and equal justice in the wake of the death of George Floyd,” LSU women’s basketball coach Nikki Fargas said. “We are seeing how communities from all over the world are demonstrating their support to condemn all racism. Through our platforms, we always want to strive to promote a culture where racism and inequality are not tolerated. It’s about hearing and engaging and being diligent in our efforts. As a community, we can be the change. We will be the change.”
WAFB’s Matt Houston will have more on the rally tonight on 9News at 10.
Click here to report a typo.