CORNING, N.Y (WETM) – The peaceful protesters show how passionate the people of the Southern Tier can be.
One of the demonstrator has been out everyday since the first day of protests, which was Saturday. Jaedyne Filkins said she looks at the big picture on the fight against racism.
“So with racism, it happens with all races,” said Filkins. “None of us are saying it’s straight down to black versus white, it’s really everyone versus racism.”
A small protest in a small city in one of the most well-known State in America. However, what these people hope to bring is big changes. One protester who was very willing to share her story is a local pastor, Jeanette Vaughn.
“I’m out here to compel, to be visible and compel those that known me in the community to action,” exclaimed Vaughn. “Growing up mixed it’s really hard to fit in. I’ve always been too dark to be white, too white to be black. A lot of people don’t think that there’s any racisim here in Corning. I myself have experienced racism multiple times in my life.”
She said it’s time for her to speak up for her community.
“As an African American female in this community I have encounters of discrimination, you know what, no more will I sit silent, ” said Vaughn.
Vaughn draws the line when it comes down to her family’s safety.
“It is not okay, and so therefore I have five children that grew up in this community,” said Vaughn. “My husband has a PHD but if he put a hoodie on or if he put a hat on, he is treated like an animal is not acceptable. No more.”
Filkins also shares her story about growing up with subtle racist experiences.
“A lot of people will make a joke, and they don’t think it’s racist but it is really racist,” stated Filkins. “I’ve had people say some jokes around me, and it hurt me inside but I never said anything. I really wish I did and so for all the times I didn’t say anything, I’m standing up now. I think that’s why everyone is so passionate, like all these peaceful protests is because we’re finally finding our voice to stand up to racism.”
Vaughn wished for people to have empathy during this time.
“I would just like for people to switch in our spot just for one day. Just one day. Just one day,” asked Vaughn.