Park City crowd captivated by a teen: ‘No justice. No peace. No racist police.’
There were many voices, and many messages, on Dozier Field on Monday as Park City gathered in tribute to George Floyd.
A crowd of mostly white people remembered Floyd, the black man whose death in police custody in Minneapolis triggered demonstrations across the U.S.
But it was an Asian American teen who delivered some of the most memorable words on Monday at the Park City High School field. Emma Tang, an 18-year-old who lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, attended high school in Park City for her freshman and sophomore years, returning to the Kearns Boulevard campus on Monday to offer remarks from the perspective of a minority person.
Many in the crowd of upward of 300 people appeared captivated as Tang spoke, sometimes using aggressive words. She told the crowd that not being a racist is not enough, that silence by white people amounts to violence and said police officers are racist.
“We need your anger all the time, because change starts and ends with you,” she told the crowd.
She also led the crowd in chanting “No justice. No peace. No racist police.”
Tang rallied on Monday carrying a sign that said “Yellow Peril for Black Power,” using a message with racial undertones dating to prejudiced worries from long ago about the rise of Asians.
In interviews afterward, Tang, who graduated from high school in Colorado and plans to attend New York University later this year, said there is “indifference towards racism.”
“When I went to school here, I actually faced a lot of anti-Asian sentiments from a lot of my classmates. So, it’s interesting to see how they’ve evolved, which is really good,” Tang said. “But I would say that a lot of white students, not just here but kind of across the nation, aren’t really affected by the racism, so they don’t really feel the need to combat it, I guess. So, I guess, if it’s not called out to them, they don’t necessarily pay attention.”
She described the racism she saw while a student in Park City as “micro-aggression rather than outward acts.”
Tang said she wants people who attended the event on Monday to better recognize racism and respond.
“I think I would really like to see them call out racism in their own personal lives . . . when they see comments, when they see their classmates and their friends and their family doing or saying something that may not even be outwardly racist, but just calling that out. And then really internally checking themselves,” she said.
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The artist from Vineyard who created the mural traveled to Park City again last weekend to repair it, tweak the image and leave a message for the community on the street.