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White protesters are ‘leading the charge’ for black people, St. Louis journalist says

Protesters assembled earlier this month in an anti-hate rally at the Country Club Plaza. A black journalist in St. Louis criticized white people’s participation in protests.
Protesters assembled earlier this month in an anti-hate rally at the Country Club Plaza. A black journalist in St. Louis criticized white people’s participation in protests. along@kcstar.com

A St. Louis journalist took to Facebook on Monday to criticize white people’s participation in protests around the country.

“No other race of people I know of has another race leading the charge for their interests as if they’re incapable of leading their own movement,” wrote Elliott Davis, who works for Fox 2. “It’s as if (whites) believe that African Americans are afraid to speak for themselves about the issues they claim black folks care about.”

The post is accompanied with a photo of a person clad in black — the uniform of Antifa — short for anti-fascists — a left-leaning group that practices violent opposition to white supremacy.

“I really do believe these other groups are really just pushing their own agendas,” Davis wrote.

Elliott Davis
Elliott Davis Fox 2 / Elliott Davis

He added that black civil rights leaders of the ’50s and ’60s risked lynchings and other forms of violence when protesting, while today when looking at crowds of protesters, “you see mostly white young folks.”

“That’s strange if issues like Confederate Monuments are really the issues that Black people think of as the most important issues they face,” Davis wrote.

Heather De Mian, a photojournalist who has been documenting activists in Ferguson and the wider St. Louis area for three years, contested Davis’ portrayal of the racial makeup of protests today in a message to The Star.

“There are way more ‘white allies’ now than there were originally in Ferguson, but black activists usually dominate the megaphones,” she said.

black protestors
A press conference in protest of police brutality and the John Stockley case was led by black Ferguson activists. Heather De Mian

“I’m glad to see more white folks as long as they stay in their lane and leave the leadership to the black activists,” De Mian added.

Davis’ post has received a lot of attention, garnering dozens of replies on both sides of the issue.

“It’s time all America rises up against the pro fascist group called ANTIFA,” wrote Ken Condor.

“White college-age democrat females always know what’s best for black folk,” wrote Mike Smick.

Others, like Osiris Tucker, disagreed with Davis.

“More and more whites are simply awakening to the reality that racism is a disease that affects not just black people but the entire country and the entire globe even,” Tucker wrote. “It’s called empathy, compassion and understanding. More and more whites are becoming humanitarian, sir.”

Davis leads the “You Paid For It” series, which aims to uncover government waste.

Max Londberg: 816-234-4378, @MaxLondberg

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