Students at N.C. Central University will join with peers at other historically black colleges and universities across the state Wednesday night to protest what they describe as a genocidal “war on Black America” by police.
The rally, organized by Black University, a coalition HBCU students dedicated to “liberation through education,” comes after police shot and killed two African-American men in Charlotte and Tulsa, Okla., in the past week. It will begin at 10 p.m. in the Greek Bowl on the NCCU campus.
“Students understand that there is a war on Black America and refuse to allow the devalue of black life to continue,” NCCU student Ajamu Dilahunt Jr. said in a press release Wednesday. “We say no more, we charge Genocide. We say stop the war on Black America.”
Dilahunt, a native of Raleigh, issued the statement in the aftermath of the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, a 43-year-old man who was parked near a bus stop while waiting for his son in the University City area of Charlotte. Police said Scott was armed with a handgun they recovered from his car. But family members say the police mistook a book he was reading for a firearm.
Dilahunt referred to the shooting as a lynching.
The students are also protesting the fatal shooting Friday of Terence Crutcher, 40, whose SUV stalled in the middle of a highway in Tulsa. Video footage of the shooting showed Crutcher with his hands in the air, walking away from the officers who simultaneously Tasered and shot him.
The HBCU student group says police have killed 193 black men this year and “at least” 306 black men last year.
“We stand with the resistance of the people in Charlotte as they fight back against the police state,” Dilahunt said. “We are also aware that they are not isolated incidents and police violence is a national epidemic. Black people have died at the hands of the Durham Police Department, the Raleigh Police Department and so many more, and they are not held accountable.”