Senate and House staffers staged a walkout to the Capitol steps today to register their support for those protesting the deaths of black men at the hands of police around the country.
The walkout comes after days of protests in major cities across America over the decisions, which have sparked racial tensions.
The staffers gathered on the steps of Capitol Hill around 3:30 p.m. and raised their arms in the “Hands up, don’t shoot” gesture that has come to symbolize frustration over the two deaths that resulted from altercations with police. U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black recited a prayer, saying “We gather here today so that we can be the voice for the voiceless.”
Democratic Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland – who has urged congressional hearings on Brown and Garner’s deaths – said in a statement that “Democrats and Republicans across the country are incredibly frustrated by what happened in Ferguson, Staten Island and elsewhere.” The top Democrat on the House and Government Reform Committee added, “This protest reflects the mistrust they have in the integrity of the criminal justice system.”
Sadly, the comments on that video reflect the continuing state of denial on the white right, where they're more interested in pretending the "hands up" gesture is meaningless since they contend Mike Brown had it coming and never had his hands up.
That attitude is exactly why these protests must continue. Until people understand that this isn't just about Brown or Garner, but the larger issue of unequal treatment of black people by police around the country, there will be no change.