About 30 demonstrators attended a brief rally in Olathe to stand against what they perceive is a growing intolerance and racial discrimination in Johnson County. The event was organized by the Metro Organization for Racial and Economic Equity (MORE). Submitted photo
Special to The Gardner News
About two dozen residents, including area residents, attended an anti-discrimination protest on the grounds of Olathe Community Center June 30.
The protest, held under the auspices of the Metro Organization for Racial and Economic Equity (MORE SQUARED) ,was in response to a growing trend of intolerance in the county as evidenced by several incidents of discrimination recorded in recent months.
Speaking at the event Rev. Bobby Love, an Olathe based civil rights activist, said a worrying trend of intolerance is developing in communities around the county and called for people of goodwill to stand up and speak against all forms of discrimination.
“Recently two Asian employees of a major technology company were gunned down at Austins’ Bar here in Olathe, a firefighter spit on a little black kid and called him a racial slur and a teacher in Shawnee Mission School District told students of color that if they were to be shot by police it would be their fault,” he said.
“This was after the high profile case at the Jewish Community Center a few years ago when a gunman committed mass murder of innocent people in what was clearly a hate crime.”
“We have to stop this trend on its tracks,” he told the protesters. “Each one of us has a responsibility to speak up and demand a community free of hate.”
Lora Mcdonalds, one of the organizers of the event, said MORE SQUARE is a faith-based group that raises awareness on issues of racial and economic justice in the metro area.
She said the organization is committed to make systemic, sustainable changes in the public policies that govern such issues as economic development, education, transportation and health equity.