Royal Oakers Stand Up to Racism
(Crystal A. Proxmire, June 7, 2020)
Royal Oak, MI – Hundreds gathered at the Royal Oak Library Saturday for a call to end racial injustice that included speeches and a march down Main Street.
Like many of the demonstrations that have happened since the Memorial Day death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, this one included signs like “Black Lives Matter,” and “Silence Equals Consent.”
Among the organizers of the peaceful protest was Keesha Honeybee, She not only denounced the recent violence directed at black American men and women, but also questioned how individuals would proceed with changing the way people of color are treated.
Ron Arnold was one of the residents that came out to support the equal treatment of African Americans. ‘The protest started out with what seemed like a couple of hundred people, but by the time we started marching down Main Street, it had swelled to what seemed like thousands,” he said.
“We were marching south (and stopping traffic), got to Fifth St., crossed the street and were almost all the way to 11 Mile Road and the people were still coming out of the library area. The march continued east on 11 mile with call and answer chants, and we all took a knee at one point.”
The Royal Oak Police had a very light presence, Arnold said, adding that “the passers-by, whether on foot or in the vehicles held up by the crowds, were continually honking and shouting their approvals.”
“We all shared some raw feelings and came away determined to make things better, and not just for tomorrow, but for the many days ahead.
“I wasn’t expecting more than a many a hundred people,” said Royal Oak resident Nick Britsky. “I was floored to see both sides of 11 Mile brimming with folks. The group was incredibly respectful, but loud and wanted change.
“Keesha shared a number of powerful speeches that all came from the heart. She is a natural leader and inspiring. I’m very proud of my burb and hope it gives strength to all the other voices out there.”