A year after George Floyd's murder, McCloud students stand against racism
McCloud students held an anti racism speak-out with live music from the McCloud High School band and a barbeque hosted by the Walker family on Saturday.
The event was held in Hoo Hoo Park and led by McCloud High School senior Alisha Walker, who was born and raised in McCloud. She was the first to speak about racism, explaining that as a black woman, she’s been targeted since the fifth grade.
"It doesn't matter how many people came out today to fight for racial justice because it is not the number of people, it is the power that all of us have to fight oppression and racial injustice," Walker said. "When I was in elementary school, I was called a monkey and a disgrace to the world by another student."
The event was triggered by a post on a McCloud Facebook page with a picture of the Klu Klux Klan, said Walker. The person associated with the picture recently left the McCloud area.
Kim Roja, a McCloud resident of three years, helped with this event. She and her husband have also been targeted by racial remarks from total strangers, Roja said.
“How do you get past the trauma like Alisha being called a monkey? We need to speak out and people need to learn,” said Roja. “I don't think McCloud kids are encouraged to come together and speak out. Nothing is done outside of sports to encourage them.”
McCloud High School teacher and band leader Pamela Price said that she thinks it is horrible that adults and children say racist things to other kids.
“I have not experienced it but I have heard about it. People are people. We all should respect each other and not judge people by our skin color,” Price said.
Becky Mock, a teacher and tutor, said “People are afriad.”
“That is why so many people who responded to this event on Facebook didn't show up,” she said. “1% of the world's population are leaders. I'm so proud of our McCloud youth organizing this event."
Jaden Quiring, a junior at McCloud High School, said he stands up for his Black and Hispanic friends.
“McCloud is better than that. There are people in town that use the ‘N word’ pretty loosely. One in particular helps with our community events, but he is not the only one. A lot of people don't know what they're saying and we are trying to educate them to understand how their words can be derogatory and discriminating against others and they don't even realize it."
Siskiyou County Supervisor Brandon Criss’s 8-year-old son Mark summed it up pretty well when he said all the kids are playing together, because they’re all the same.