Forget the debate.
Forget the teleprompters.
Forget the surrogates and spin and speeches.
Listen to Zianna Oliphant.
Zianna is a child. She spoke at a hearing about police violence and excessive use of force in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“I’ve come here today to talk about how I feel, and I feel like that we are treated differently than other people. I don’t like how we’re treated. Just because of our color — doesn’t mean anything to me.
“I believe that …”
And then the tears fell.
She was encouraged by the audience to continue. Several people demanded that the Mayor not limit this girl's time at the podium.
We are black people, and we shouldn’t have to feel like this. We shouldn’t have to protest because y’all are treating us wrong. We do this because we need to and have rights. I was born and raised in Charlotte. Until now, I’ve never felt this way.
I can’t stand how we’re treated.
It’s a shame that our fathers and mothers are killed, and we can’t even see them anymore. It’s a shame that we have to go to that graveyard and bury them. And we have tears, and we shouldn’t have tears.
We need our fathers and mothers to be by our side.
Thank you for your courage, Zianna. You speak for a nation and a movement. Your words and emotion showed as well as anyone's that Black Lives Matter.