The Coastal Carolina University chapter of the NAACP organized a flash mob protest Friday to bring awareness to the issue of people dying at the hands of police.
At exactly 12:15 p.m. in Hicks Dining Hall, students wearing predominately black-colored clothes rose from their seats in unison. Some held signs, and most remained quiet.
“See us, don’t shoot us,” some said.
Others spoke the names of those who’ve died at the hands of officers.
Within minutes, the crowd thinned as the protestors left the building or went back to their seats to eat lunch.
There’s anger, there’s confusion most importantly, because there are constant images of people who look like me dying by the hand of those who are supposed to protect us. Rahiem Burgess, president of the CCU NAACP
Rahiem Burgess, president of the CCU NAACP, organized the event and spread the news by word of mouth and social media.
“It spread like wildfire,” said Burgess. “I think that speaks to the magnitude of how concerned people are about these issues. There’s anger, there’s confusion most importantly, because there are constant images of people who look like me dying by the hand of those who are supposed to protect us. And you have those who may not identify as African-American or black, completely disregarding it, or trying to justify it. Whether it was a black man or a white man or woman, I think the concern should be more about the fact that we are losing lives. And the fact that people are completely ignoring it terrifies me.”
Students participating in the protest wore black to make a statement, said Burgess.
“Black, it’s a very dominant color,” he said. “It’s an absence of color technically by definition, but it stands out. It’s very bold. I guess metaphorically and on an artistic level, it makes great imagery.”
We don’t want to be recognized as any violent or anything harmful to the community or the school. Student Brittany Colston
Student Brittany Colston said she came to the event after hearing about it on Snapchat.
“We don’t want to be recognized as any violent or anything harmful to the community or the school,” she said. “We want to be shown in a positive manner so we’re going to silently protest today.”
I mean, recently, people have just been getting shot for doing nothing. Student King Brown
Student King Brown was in attendance hoping for a change.
“I mean, recently, people have just been getting shot for doing nothing,” he said. “I think that’s a major thing and that’s why African Americans are upset right now. That’s what needs to change for us to not die with no reason.”
But Brown said he wasn’t sure whether the protests would make a difference in black people’s lives.
“So far, we’re getting nowhere,” he said. “Hopefully it will, but so far, we’re still on the first step.”
Christian Boschult, 843-626-0218, @TSN_Christian