Sharpton Hopes Passion, Energy Continues To Bring Change

Tuesday, September 27th 2016, 6:26 pm
By: News On 6

A March for Justice, led by Reverend Al Sharpton, started at the Greenwood Cultural Center and ended outside Tulsa City Hall.

The crowd was full of passion and energy as they marched, and it was that energy that Sharpton hopes continues on - saying it can only do so when young activists join the cause.

The passion was overflowing, the desire to find common ground was evident, and now the group hopes you join them, too.

"We don't want to fight no war, we want peace," Sandy Craven-Thompson said.

Gerard Burns said, "We just want what's right, to be treated equal."

Sharpton was in town on a mission to change an image - that just because you are big and black does not mean you are a bad dude.

Special Coverage: Terence Crutcher Police Shooting

"Why would one policeman in a helicopter look at a man walking down the road with his hands up say 'he looks like a bad dude.' There's the problem, and we need to deal with that problem," Sharpton said.

And the protesters agreed, saying they are fed up with black men be labeled as 'big bad dudes.'

Tykee McClain said, "He's black - does he deserve to die because he's a big black guy?"

It's a push for change that comes after Tulsa police officer, Betty Shelby, shot and killed Terence Crutcher earlier this month.

For the activists that marched Tuesday, it's time to end the violence and promote peace and understanding.

"I want everybody to know that we should love each other. We should come together as one, as one, and love each other," said McClain.

Sharpton said he believes Tulsa can help lead the country is making the change.

"I think they can,” he said. “If they step up and use this situation to make it a teaching moment."

That's what protesters like TKO Capone are hoping to do.

"It's going to take all of us collectively standing up, being together," he said.

Capone himself told Sharpton he will keep the cause going.

Capone: "You're an inspiration to me."
Sharpton: "We need you to carry it on. You got to keep it going."
Capone: "Most definitely."
Marty: "How does a guy like him make other people believe?"
Sharpton: "By standing up and doing what he's doing. Let me tell you something, this is a generational struggle until all of us get free. We may have different tactics, we may have different places we come from, but we all end up in the same place. That's why I commended the young activists. We're here to support them, not supplant them, because this is a people's movement, and if they keep standing, we will stand with them"

The goal, they said, is to keep the conversations going - keep inviting friend and foe to the table of understanding until everyone is standing together.