June 1, 2020
After nearly a week of protests set off by the police killing of an unarmed black man, the United States sits at a crossroads. George Floyd is the latest name added to a long list of black men slain by police but it is his death that has sparked the uprising of black communities across the country, according to the President of Color of Change Rashad Robinson.
“I don’t want people to think there’s just one single bullet issue. We live in a society that has targeted, attacked, and exploited black people for years and as a result, people are standing up and pushing back,” he told Cheddar.
As demonstrations across the country grow more violent by the day, Robinson said a lack of leadership in the White House is part of the issue. “When Colin Kaepernick and other athletes were speaking out and taking a knee in peaceful ways, [Trump] called them all sorts of names and attacked them non-stop,” he said.
“What we recognize is we have misleadership, disinformation, misinformation. We have hatred coming from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” Robinson added.
Despite his divisive comments about previously peaceful protests, such as Kaepernick's, the president has been mostly silent on the current protests sweeping the nation.
Meanwhile, Robinson said Color of Change is working to make effective changes. The organization is looking for major corporations to "stop enabling the president" and walk alongside African Americans to move progress forward. It is also providing information and tools for non-black people to help in their local communities.
Robinson says the only way to see improvement is for all people to get active and do something real.
“Power is the ability to change the rules and we have to change the rules collectively; so, I am inviting black folks, and allies of black folks, people of all races to help us build something new, to hold those in power accountable and to translate this moment of deep pain into deep change.”