NAACP members talk ‘#DayOfOutrage’

Corryn Brock, News Editor

People across the country wore black Monday to demand justice for Atatiana Jefferson, who was shot by a police officer in her home on Oct. 12.

The officer, Aaron Dean, resigned from his job and was charged with murder.

Corryn Brock
Corryn Brock | The Daily Eastern News
Sihile Mwalongo (left), Lulu Shimonde (middle) and Tykyla Crockett (right), all members of Eastern’s N.A.A.C.P., particpated in #DayofOutrage. #DayofOutrage protested the recent death of Atatiana Jefferson, who was shot in her home by a police officer.

Members of Eastern’s N.A.A.C.P. posted flyers on social media encouraging students to take part in the silent protest.

Tykyla Crockett, a junior early childhood education major and secretary of Eastern’s N.A.A.C.P., said she felt like the protest gave students who are unsure of how to demand justice a way to do so.

“I feel like the blackout (in attire) is a very good idea because a lot of people always complain about not being able to do anything about these situations, so everyone wearing black is like them showing that they care and that it means something to them,” Crockett said.

Lulu Shimonde, a junior neuroscience major and president of Eastern’s N.A.A.C.P., said the protest should matter to people.

“I think if you don’t get involved in social issues, you’re a part of the issue itself,” Shimonde said. “If you allow for injustice to continue and to persist without anybody seeing that you are visibly a part of something then injustice becomes the norm and I refuse to stand by and let justice become the norm in my society.”

Crockett said while the protest was silent, it stands for something bigger to her.

“Even though we can’t do something major, we did something on campus to make a stand and show other students and other people that this is something big to us because N.A.A.C.P. stands for it,” Crockett said. “I feel like the conversation needs to be had. More protests and other things need to be done; people on campus need to know about these situations.”

Sihile Mwalongo, a sophomore economics major and treasurer of Eastern’s N.A.A.C.P., said she felt like the protest was a way to make their stance known.

“I feel like our voices are being heard; N.A.A.C.P. is the voice of the minorities, and I feel like this helps us because it helps us see that people are banding together and that we can unite and that’s what N.A.A.C.P. is. It’s uniting minorities and allies,” Mwalongo said. “Black lives matter, and they need to heard and they need to be talked about.”

Some people who participated in the day looked at the situations from a more personal perspective than a political perspective.

Shimonde said the protest was important to her because of how she feels in her day-to-day life.

“As a black woman in society, it feels like I shouldn’t have to fear that my life is constantly on the line, especially in situations that do not warrant for my life to be on the line,” Shimonde said.

Mwalongo said her reason for protesting was because she felt there wasn’t enough being done to stop police brutality.

“I’m tired,” Mwalongo said. “I feel like enough is enough; so many people are dying for no reason, and I feel like police brutality is almost getting swept under the rug like ‘Oh, another death happened? That’s sad,’ and I feel like we need to be mad and we need to talk about this.”

The women said a lot could be taken away from the protest.

“It really meant a lot to see other students wearing black who weren’t even a part of the conversation we were having but saw the flier and decided to wear black,” Shimonde said. “I hope that people see that I’m not going to stand back and be another face in the crowd. I’m definitely here to be a part of a protest, silent or not silent, and not only am I going to push for my own agendas, I’m also going to be an ally to others.”

The women also encouraged other students to engage with the N.A.A.C.P. regardless of their opinions on politics.

“Even if you don’t agree with our topics we want to hear other sides and viewpoints, that’s very important to us,” Crockett said.

The N.A.A.C.P. has a date auction on Wednesday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the 7th Street Underground.

N.A.A.C.P. meets on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. in the Charleston/Mattoon room of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].