COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Local community activists and the Mayor of Smiths Station, Ala., react to the violence at the Capitol in Washington D.C., Jan. 6.
On January 6, 2021, a riot broke out at the Nations Capitol in Washington, D.C., leaving one rioter dead and several arrested. Columbus activist and business owner Justin Allen says yesterdays events make him angry.
“It makes you angry, it’s confusing at times….it’s an emotional roller coaster. We have been taught to make your voice heard you go and vote. Then when we actually take a part in what is the Democratic process we see how America responds to it. It makes you feel no matter what you do, at times you will never or as a Black American, you will never be a part of America,” Allen said.
While Americans have the right to peacefully protest the Smiths Station, Ala. Mayor of Smith Station, AL, Bubba Copeland, says this is not the America he knows.
“I truly believe that people have been pushed so far to the left and right, we must remember that people are mentally and physically exhausted from Corona Virus and what’s been going on. It’s something that I believe got out of hand, we should all get along, we should all try and reconcile our differences,” Copeland said.
Mayor Copeland and local African American leaders held a peaceful walk through against racism June, 2020, in Smith Station, Ala. Participants met at Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church and finished at the Smiths Station Government Center. More than 400 people participated in the peaceful walk in June, Copeland believes yesterday’s riot will not divide the Smiths Station community.
“We respect each other here, the leadership as well as the citizens, we all listen to one another and we do care about each other. We do have that small-town atmosphere where we care about each other and we don’t have racism in Smith Station and we don’t want it and we won’t tolerate it and that’s why we had that walk back in June,” Copeland said.