4th of July Protest

Good morning!
It is the morning of July 6, 2017. During the 4th of July this week, there was a lot of controversy about a certain protest that involved a black man “hanging” himself in front of the Riverwalk tunnel opening in downtown Montgomery. This happened to be the rare occasion that I did not make it down there this year but as soon as I went on Facebook, my timeline was flooded with photographs and videos of the incident, along with many vast and irritated comments and opinions.

(Photo Credit: Montgomery Advertiser)

The man that conducted the demonstration goes by the name of David Sadler. He is known as being the head of the #doucount campaign. He hung himself by a harness making him appear to be lynched directly in front of the Riverwalk entrance while holding a sign saying “Dear: D.O.J. GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH”. Sadler’s very straight forward protest caused him to go viral. Even the location of his demonstration was significant and helped illustrate the history of the Riverfront in Montgomery, AL. Montgomery played a large role in the slave trade dating as far back as the 1600’s. Slaves were brought by boats up the river and then marched downtown along Commerce Street in chains for slave auctions that were held in warehouses (where they were usually confined for sale) and on auction blocks. This also contributes to the history and significance of the Jubilee City Fest. Sadler was not the only individual voicing his opinion throughout the 4th of July. Many African Americans feel that is pointless and practically offensive to our ancestors for us to even celebrate the holiday. Because although America may have been free and liberated, our people were still enslaved and being brutally mistreated and abused. Opinions were given left and right on social media, voicing historic events about imprisonment and civil rights.

Sadler also argued the point that enslavement among African American men, women, and children has not ceased today and is still a big part of our culture in America.
Hundreds of onlookers watched his protest as they left from the fireworks celebration. His demonstration was considered peaceful and had no cause for enforcement action. Sadler even shook hands and spoke with Montgomery police officers about his actions and also spoke out to the crowds as they passed.

“So do you count? Of course you do. Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t matter or that you don’t count. No matter who you are or where you come from you can make it. Success is what you determine success is,” Sadler told the crowd.
Rebecca Burylo , Montgomery Advertiser Published 9:29 a.m. CT July 5, 2017 | Updated 3:11 p.m. CT July 5, 2017

(Photo Credit: Montgomery Advertiser)
So far I have seen many comments and opinions about his demonstration. Many are negative and feel that Sadler’s demonstration was inappropriate. Mostly by parents who felt they should not have to bring their kids downtown for some fun and fireworks and have to encounter this type of protest. Since everyone seems tense about it and giving an opinion, I’m just going to say that mine is just what it is…an opinion. David Sadler also had an opinion that he had the absolute right to demonstrate and prove using his own creative methods. We as citizens possess that right every day that we breathe, but I am not going to make this discussion deeper by getting in to the “that’s all bullshit” part of that statement. What David Sadler did was wake up a lot of people and only disturbed those who never can accept the truth of our history nor what is even going on in the present. He did not go too far, he went far enough and he did it the right way. He did not use violence to prove his point. It’s just that blatant TRUTH is a sickness for many people and they will do everything in their power to hide it.

I wonder how many white parents had to actually explain the dynamics of his protest to their children and HOW did they explain it? Did they feed them some fairytale or actually give them the uncensored version of it. Either way, what’s understood doesn’t have to be explained. There will always be others who feel something such as this is inappropriate because maybe it was the wrong time or wrong way to do it. But what is the RIGHT time? What is the RIGHT way? We as people can be so engulfed in our own feelings and opinions that we miss the entire picture. All David Sadler did was make a choice that not many would have the guts to make. He stirred up something that isn’t mentioned enough. It wasn’t even fully about the historic significance of slavery, or just the holiday and our role in it, it was also about what is presently going on daily, yet we choose to ignore it. It was about the fact that African Americans are just vanishing into thin air on a regular basis TODAY. He had that right to put it out there even if it causes some sort of maximum or minimal change, he got everyone to start talking. That action in itself is a form of bravery and change!
What do you feel about the protest at it’s purpose? Feel free to comment, share and give feedback!! More to come.


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