In January 2016, I reported how an Ithaca (NY) Black Lives Matter rally over the death of Sandra Bland and others set up a procedure to segregate speakers by race, with “people of color” being given priority over whites, At anti-racism rally, Whites allowed to speak only after People of Color:

We ask that people of color who would like to bring written statements/speeches to address the ralley [sic] please let us know below so that we can add you to the list of schedueled speakers.

There will be an open speak-out afterwards for those who just want to speak.

Please be sure to bring warm clothing. Please also be sure to bring any signs or pictures of thoes affected by police brutality. We will meet at the center of the commons at 1pm.

Disclaimer: If you are a reporter at this event we will not be answering any questions.

Disclaimer: If you are a white person at this event note that the voices of people of color will take precedence in rally space.

Ithaca Protest Sandra Bland FB Page comment white people welcome

My post was not viewed favorably by the organizer who instituted the policy and commenters on the event page:

https://www.facebook.com/events/196922747321950/?active_tab=posts

The segregation of speakers just happened again, at a rally on July 8, 2016, with non-people of color speakers told to sit at the back of the speakers’ line.

The Ithaca Journal reports:

About 400 people marched from the Southside Community Center to the Ithaca Commons Friday night and called for an end to systemic racism and police killing black people.

[Black Lives Matter Ithaca organizer Dubian] Ade addressed the crowd once the march ended at the Bernie Milton Pavilion. He said people of color would get priority on the megaphone.

“If you are not a person of color, please wait,” he said. “We prioritize our voices since we are the ones who are the most affected, and our voices are usually the ones that get pushed out”

Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t think you fight the legacy of segregation and racism by engaging in segregation and racism.

I’m sure there will be harsh words for me for having that “radical” thought.

[Featured Image credit: Jolene Almendarez/The Ithaca Voice.]