The rally was spurred by a racist video made by a local student now in high school. It was reportedly made a year ago when the boy was 14 but surfaced this week. It prompted an anguished and angry rebuke from the city schools superintendent and then a rally on the steps of Decatur City Hall.
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The Friday morning rally began several hours before the Atlanta protest, which was spurred by the death of George Floyd, a black man, under the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer.
The video of the Decatur student shows him waving what looks to be a toy gun and saying he uses it to kill black people. He employs a racial epithet to describe them.
It was the latest of several racist videos to emerge from the city in the past month.
The message it sent for Mawuli Davis, co-chair of the Beacon Hill group: “Black lives still don’t matter.”
“We’re hearing the voices of African American residents who are angry, outraged and concerned that anyone would feel comfortable recording something like that and sharing it,” he said Thursday.
White people must work against racism, he said. “It is deep-seated in Georgia.”
There was no new date set for the postponed rally, but the Beacon Hill group said it planned to hold an online “Talk Back” forum where young people in Decatur could discuss what they are feeling.
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