Not All Fairgoers Understand Or Agree With Black Lives Matter Message

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MN State Fair-Black Lives Matters Protest

Bill Sorem

MN State Fair-Black Lives Matters Protest

Outside the Minnesota State Fair on Saturday about 800 marchers chanted and shut down streets, protesting the highly publicized killing of unarmed blacks by police officers and structural racism. Inside the fair, opinion of the Black Lives Matter protest was mixed and some of it exemplified why the protesters were marching.

Most of the people The UpTake’s videographer talked to at the fair hoped the demonstrations would be peaceful. Several declined to go on camera. One woman from a “small town in northern Minnesota” said, “we have just a few of them, and they are well behaved.”

One man outside the gate waiting for the marchers asked, “Where are the dogs and fire hoses?”

When asked what he thought of Black Lives Matter, one fairgoer said on camera “all lives matter.”

Frank Brown, Co-Chair of DFL African American Caucus, had some thoughts on the “all lives matter” reaction.

“It’s a true fact that all lives do matter. But the fact that when we say ‘all lives matter’, some times black lives get left behind. So we got to say black lives matter to bring attention.”

Several said they oppose demonstrations that cause disruptions such as shutting down streets which inconvenience people. Sherrie Pugh, Co-Chair African American DFL caucus put that in perspective. “Losing someone’s life is a big inconvenience for a family.”

Bill Sorem

Bill Sorem is a longtime advertising professional who started with Campbell Mithun and ended up with his own agency. After a tour as a sailing fleet manager in the Virgin Islands he turned to database programming as an independent consultant. He has written sailing guides for the British Virgin Islands and Belize, and written for a number of blogs. In 2010, he volunteered as a citizen journalist with The UpTake and has stayed on as a video reporter.

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