In a petition to the White House, the marchers called on President Woodrow Wilson to take action, stating that in the “last thirty-one years 2,867 colored men and women have been lynched by mobs without trial. … We believe that this spirit of lawlessness is doing untold injury to our country and we submit that the record proves that the States are either unwilling or unable to put down lynching and mob violence.”
The organizers ended their list of “why do we march” reasons with:
We march because the growing consciousness and solidarity of race coupled with sorrow and discrimination have made us one: a union that may never be dissolved in spite of shallow-brained agitators, scheming pundits and political tricksters who secure a fleeting popularity and uncertain financial support by promoting the disunion of a people who ought to consider themselves as one.
It’s not possible to read about this march, or look at the images without seeing all the terrible parallels from 1917 to 2017. Lynch mobs may not roam at will now, but murderous cops are allowed to roam, and they are not punished for the thousands, every single year, of killings of Indigenous, Black, and Hispanic people. People are still marching. People are still taking a stand. And it’s beyond sadness that in all this time, these things are still needed.
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