From Texas Public Radio:
Several hundred people braved the 94-degree Texas heat on Saturday — the majority in face masks — to protest racism and police brutality.
Megaphone in hand, Dr. Theresa Gatling stood in the bed of a red pick-up truck parked at the protest in Edinburg.
“Hi everybody,” Gatling said to a large diverse crowd gathered around her. “I’m so happy that we are all out here in support of Black Lives Matter.”
“I think a lot of the things that we’re seeing with (counter-protestors) is because of ignorance. It’s because they don’t know their African American fellow human beings.”
Gatling stood at the center of a sea of signs that read, “Tu Lucha es Mi Lucha,” “Your Fight is My Fight,” “Black Trans Lives Matter” and “White Silence is Violence.”
Demonstrations sparked by the death of George Floyd continued across the U.S. last weekend, with hundreds of thousands of people protesting. Including people in Edinburg, Texas — a city of more than 100,000 in the Rio Grande Valley.
There, the protestors also tried to call attention to a less talked about issue: anti-blackness and racism in the Latinx community.
Gatling is the president of Village in the Valley.
“It’s a nonprofit organization that was formed last year to create connections among the African Americans here in the Valley and even more importantly to broaden our reach into the other cultures, so that we can learn more about each other,” said Gatling. “We can bridge the gap between African Americans and Mexican Americans.”
Delores Smith helped organize the protest.
“We are here to protest for the reform that the police institution is needing and the reform that the prison system is needing,” she said.
Smith said as a black woman, this has always been important to her.
“Just to show that there is solidarity for people who look like me and my family and to erase anti-Blackness within the Valley and bring light to that conversation,” she said.
Smith also said people shouldn’t forget that anti-Blackness and racism are still alive here in the Rio Grande Valley.
“Just yesterday [Friday] at the McAllen protest we had a man chase protestors with a chainsaw while screaming racial slurs,” Smith said.