With protests across the world and in Oklahoma City, one man took to the corner of 4th and Grand Ave. in Chickasha to take a stand of his own on Sunday.
Brett Landry, guitarist for Oklahoma City-based band Brett Landry and the Night Shifts, said he wanted to make a statement against the racism he’s observed in Chickasha.
“There’s a lot of racism in this town,” Landry said. “I’m not out here for publicity or anything like that. I’m really out here because we live in a racist town. There’s a lot of problems with that.”
Landry held a sign that said “Black Lives Matter” on one side and “Justice 4 Floyd” on the other.
George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man died on May 25 after a white Minneapolis Police Officer, Derek Chauvin, pinned Floyd to the pavement with a knee on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds.
Cell phone footage taken by a bystander shows Floyd pleading with the officer, telling him, “I can’t breathe.” Other bystanders attempted to intervene as Floyd appeared non-responsive.
Minneapolis Police initially made contact with Floyd after it was alleged that he used a counterfeit $20 bill. Chauvin was arrested on May 29 on charges of third degree murder and manslaughter.
A post on Chickasha’s OK News & Gossip Facebook page commended Landry’s one-man protest.
Marissa Amos posted, “To the young white man on the corner of 4th and Grand in Chickasha, silently protesting on George Floyd and Black Lives Matter: I see you, I hear you, I appreciate you.”
Landry said there were people in Chickasha who brought him water, bought him lunch and even gave him $20, which he tried to refuse.
However, not everyone in Chickasha was receptive.
“Just being out here I’ve heard ‘F-you’, ‘Get out of here,’ ‘put your sign down,’ ‘F-those N-words.’ I’ve heard a lot of racist stuff,” he said.
In spite of this, Landry said he felt it was important to take a stance.
“If no one’s going to stand up, I will.”
Landry later added that he felt a lack of love in the world is a core issue.
“We were put on this earth to love,” he said. ”If we’re not doing that, we’re not doing our job.“