PITTSBURGH, PA − June 3, 2020 − Senator Lindsey M. Williams released the following statement as protests continue across the Pittsburgh region, including today’s protest in West View after video surfaced of a bar owner and/or employee yelling a racial slur at another local business owner:
“What happened to George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others are not isolated incidents. Racial discrimination is rampant in our communities. Today I learned that a gym owner in West View, where I live, was called a racial slur by someone at a local bar while he was simply walking by. It is unacceptable that Black people are unable to live without harassment or fear in their own communities.
There is no excuse for hate speech being yelled at a person walking by an open door. There is absolutely no excuse for hate speech period. No one should be subjected to this kind of abuse while walking around their neighborhood. I love my community, which is why I’m calling out the actions of this individual and asking my neighbors to do the same. West View is better than this—and it needs to be better for everyone.
On Monday I took to the streets of East Liberty, which is also in my Senate District, to peacefully march, sit, and listen to movement leaders talk about their experiences as Black people in Pittsburgh. Today, I stood with my neighbors in West View as we protested hate speech in our community.
Our system is not broken. Our system was built to be unfair and unjust. We must work together with those most affected by these systems to ensure our neighbors are no longer discriminated against or killed simply because of the color of their skin. We must lift up the voices and the lives of those most impacted by a system that intentionally seeks to silence and erase them. This is the work that we must do. Because the Black experience matters. Black history matters. And Black Lives Matter.”