Hundreds march for racial equality through streets of KKK birthplace

National

PULASKI, Tenn (WKRN) — Hundreds of protesters marched through the streets of downtown Pulaski on Saturday, demanding racial equality and less police brutality in America.

“You gotta start somewhere, so why not right here right now in Pulaski, Tennessee with the history that we have,” said resident Rashada Holt.

Known as the birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan, Pulaski is home to some controversial history.

That reputation, and the recent police shooting deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, is what inspired 19-year old Belmont Student Keidron Turner to organize Saturday’s march.

“We’re just tired of being recognized as a town just for a place of the Klan. We want to grow more past that, just moving Pulaski further from that,” said Turner, “That was kind of like a focal point for me was the death of George Floyd. To kind of say, hey, I’m ready for my town to do something about it.”

Some of Turner’s town felt the same way. Others didn’t.

Dozens of counterprotesters voiced their opinions outside the Giles County Courthouse too, praying as one body before speaking with News 2.

Some say they think the marches taking place across the country are more divisive than unifying.

“It’s all lives that matter, not just the black ones. We all matter,” said resident Michele Tidwell.

“I don’t care what color anybody’s skin is. Everybody’s life matter’s equally to me,” said resident Nita Tankersley.

“By saying Black lives matter, that’s the most racist comment you can make,” said John Amlaner, “Like I said, if Black lives matter, then all these inner cities like Chicago and all that they’d be going and protesting the Black neighborhoods.”

Turner says it’s not about anyone’s life mattering more than their neighbors, just that everyone is welcome on the same block.

“I think the deeper picture that they need to understand is that it’s not necessarily that “Black lives matter,” it’s that Black lives matter, too. We want to be held to the same high, equal standard that the rest of the nation is held too. That’s what it means to me,” said Turner.

Turner also started an online petition to have the city’s Sam Davis statue moved from the town square to the Sam Davis museum. You can see that petition by clicking here.

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