Nifa Kaniga went to high school in Dripping Springs. Now, he's a student at the University of Texas at Dallas, but he had to come back home to Dripping Springs once COVID-19 hit and the university closed. Lately, he's been standing near a road junction in the small, Central Texas city, with a sign that says "Ask me anything." Kaniga says he wanted to start a conversation with locals about unconscious racism, white privilege, why people are protesting and more.
“A lot of is just the really small stuff, the like, ‘Wow, you talk so white!’ ‘Can I touch your hair?’ Those tiny, ignorant comments … it stacks up sometimes.”
“We went to the Capitol to try to voice our concerns with officers, with police, because that’s the problem. At least that’s part of the problem. And they would not listen; they wouldn’t even acknowledge us.”
Laura Rice/Texas Standard
Nifa Kaniga and another person advocating for Black lives in Dripping Springs.
“It’s hard to talk to people on social media because everybody has an ego, everybody thinks they’re tough and everybody always wants to be right. I challenge people to come talk about those uncomfortable subjects without judgement.”
Nifa Kaniga’s car, with a sign commenting about police violence against Black Americans.
“I’m just here to open conversation and talk with people [about things] like why are people rioting? Why are there black ghettos? What is unconscious racism? What is, really, white privilege? Why are people saying Black lives matter and not all lives matter?”
“I’m 20; I don’t have all the answers. But I feel like just giving my perspective to a lot of those people – I feel like it has opened their eyes, and they have understood and they can teach other people now.”
“It takes guts to come out here in front of the entire town and get out of your car and talk to a Black person about racial issues in America.”
“When you listen, they will listen, too; the respect you give is the respect you get.”
Web story by Caroline Covington.
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