NewsAmerica in Crisis


Group has candid conversations about race

'When you call law enforcement, are they going to be on my side?'
Posted at 11:05 AM, Jun 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-11 11:05:57-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A group of four young African-Americans stands overlooking West Palm Beach, a city in which they are trying to make a positive change. They're having a conversation about race relations.

Georgette Laguere lives in Riviera Beach and commutes to work in Palm Beach Gardens, which makes her nervous.

"I saw a (social media) post (that said) the further north you go, the more racist, and I was like, you know, that's not something, you know, most people should say," she said. "But then you're, like, one day you are just in a regular day at work and someone accidentally says something that catches you off-guard. It's like, how am I supposed to react to that? You know, should I take it, you know, with a grain of salt? You know, should I actually react? You don't know if you react, are people going to take your side?"

Laguere said she fears what would happen if she did have to call for help.

"When you call law enforcement, are they going to be on my side?" she said. "Like, whose side will they going to be on? You know, those are the types of conversations we're having at work."

RELATED: Parents seek help on how to teach children about race

Sandra Gabriel talks about feeling out of place at work.

"Being the oddball, because I work in a predominately caucasian, or I would say, just basically, not of my color, so it makes me reflect on some of the jokes they did say," she said. "Was it innocent? Or is there underlying racism that is there?"

It's a feeling this group said is not new, whether traveling to work or elsewhere.

"I grew up in the Dunbar Village housing projects to the library. Sometimes, on the way to the library, we would pass through the nicer neighborhoods," Ricky Aiken recalled. "I remember as we walked through those neighborhoods, I would always feel like I was doing something wrong. Even though we weren't doing anything wrong, I felt a guilt associated with the color of my skin."

These young adults said they're taking comfort in the hope that better days are now ahead.

"Me and my friends have been talking about the change that can take place," Bryce Graham said.