Milledgeville rallies for Charlottesville at GCSU campus

MILLEDGEVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Communities across Middle Georgia are speaking out against white supremacy in wake of riots in Charlottesville over the weekend.

Milledgeville residents are doing more than just rallying. They’re looking for ways to understand the deeper issue behind the hate. They believe the problem is the systemic inequalities in today’s society. But, organizers say solving that nationwide problem starts locally.

“Structural inequality and poverty in Baldwin County is obvious for anyone to see if they really look,” said Middle Georgia Progressive Women’s Rachel McClure.

She wants people to open their eyes. “Friday and Saturday’s events in Charlottesville aren’t necessarily new, but they did remind us what our mission was and we did want to respond,” she continued.

That’s why she and others in Milledgeville came together for a rally at Georgia College and State University to show Charlottesville that they aren’t in this alone.

“It’s so detrimental to our society, someone is already dead, 19 people are injured, some in critical condition and it’s just heartbreaking that we are still having this discussion,” said Reese Taylor.

But, Tuesday’s discussion wasn’t just about how minorities could fight racism and inequality. It was about how white people could play a role too.

“In situations of injustice we can choose to stay safe or we can choose to speak out. Safe feels really good in the short term, but in the long term I think that we are accountable because we owe it to our history and to our children,” said McClure.

They compared their city to Charlottesville–two college town’s relatively close in population. Rally-goers all agreed to take on the collective responsibility needed if they truly want to see change.

“There’s just a lot of ignorance in the world and a lot of hate and unjust prejudice that is very ill founded and it’s just not right so I’m trying to be a positive voice,” said Taylor.

Opening people’s eyes will require them to open their hearts. McClure says it won’t be an easy or comfortable fix but they’re willing to do the work.

People at the rally were asked to go up to someone they didn’t know and share a conversation, ask those tough questions, and figure out what people from each race for better understanding one another.

They ended the ceremony by singing James Weldon Johnson’s Life Every Voice and Sing.

Categories: Baldwin County, Local News