ELKIN — A Yadkin County woman organized a protest here Tuesday in support of George Floyd, the unarmed black man killed by police in Minneapolis on May 25.
“It came on my heart yesterday,” said Betty Gray of Jonesville. “I thought we have to do something here.”
The protest was held in Elkin at the corner of Bridge and Market Streets, in the vacant lot diagonally across from the Elkin Farmers Market.
The peaceful protest was organized by Gray and her sister-in-law Sheila Gray.
“It came together from yesterday,” said Sheila Gray. “After seeing a man die like that, I had to do something. Betty told me, ‘I have to stand if I have to stand alone’.”
She did not stand alone.
The protest began at 10 a.m. Tuesday and by 10:30, about 50 people had gathered. The crowd of placard-carrying protesters continued to grow until the protest ended around noon.
When I called the police to say I wanted to do this, they asked me how many people I expected. I told them two or three, said Gray.
“There are all kinds of people here,” Betty Gray said. “Young and old, black and white. This is about unity. Racism is everywhere, and we have to stop it.
“We have to put God first and stand as one,” said Betty Gray, who is a member of New Beginnings United Methodist Church in Jonesville, which has an ethnically-diverse membership. “But there are people from different churches here, and we all represent love.”
“Everyone here has the same agenda as we do,” said Sheila Gray. “Yes, Black lives matter. Police lives matter. All lives matter. It’s about equality. Period. This is where we are at this point. All races have to come together and have unity as the human race.”
Harry Tate added, “I was taught that ‘Jesus loves the little children. All the children of the world. Red, brown, yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world’.”
Protesters carried signs with a range of messages: “Black lives matter,” “Equality,” “All Lives matter.” One read “Honk to end racism.” The sound of honking horns could be heard from the late-morning Bridge Street traffic. Not everyone honked, but some did.
Reach Bill Colvard at 336-258-4035.