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Virtual Black Lives Matter roundtable discussion urges racial and social justice

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) -- 7th Congressional District Democratic candidate Tricia Zunker hosted a virtual Black Lives Matter roundtable discussion on Thursday. Racial justice, social justice, and the history of African-Americans being mistreated were among several topics discussed.

Several leaders from the community were apart of the meeting, along with a few presenters throughout the discussion.

“These senseless tragic killings, and these assaults on the black community must stop," Zunker said. "We're here in response to an all too familiar situation in society; the tragic killing of an innocent black person.”

Zunker as well as other presenters discussed their shared feelings of emotions including anger, grief, and even frustration in hopes a true change will happen in our society.

“I do feel the hurt," Aging & Disability Resource Center, Central WI Executive Director Jonette Arms said. "I feel the rage and I am sad to see that we are here in this same place again.”

"We’re left to wonder will our words get us murdered if we speak truth," Founder and Leader of People for the Power of Love Chris Norfleet said. "Not complicit truth. Not the sugary coated America things you want to hear.”

Kayley McColley, a young college student and activist shared her perspective during the discussion, highlighting some things she feels are being overlooked by society.

"I just don’t think that people understand how black people, especially every single day have tolerated disparaging remarks, discrimination, mean comments, and absolutely unacceptable conduct with poise and grace and forgiveness.”

As protests continue nationwide and in central Wisconsin, 7th Congressional District Representative Tom Tiffany said everyone wants justice for George Floyd. He added that protests are American tradition, but it's unacceptable when they turn violent.

"It’s really concerning when the protests that legitimately want justice and want to recognize George Floyd, that they’re being co-opted by people that want violence,” Tiffany said.

"Where I do not agree with the looting, I do believe people are responding to built up rage and anger from their experiences, or experiences of people they know," Arms added.

Another primary point within the discussion; it takes an effort from everyone to speak up when they see racism, even if it doesn't directly affect you.

Rashad Williams

News 9 Reporter

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