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Pastor Roderick Zak & Dr. Eric Smaw Discuss The Protests

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Claire Elise holds a painting of George Floyd. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE

This year a new generation of protesters have taken to the streets to demand change– and an end to police brutality. 

“The protests are happening to bring attention to disparity in equality and justice and just a historic problem that hasn’t really been adequately dealt with yet,” says Pastor Roderick Zak of Rejoice in the Lord Ministries in Orlando.

We spoke to Zak on Intersection back in June along with Dr. Eric Smaw, associate professor of Philosophy at Rollins College, about parallels between protests today and protests from the 1960s- and the need for systemic change. 

“Dr. Martin Luther King said that riot is the is the voice of the unheard and so I do understand it. I’m an African American male, I’ve been unfortunately, harassed by the police myself. And, so it’s something that has to be done. And it’s wonderful to see such a diverse crowd, you know, whites and Hispanics and Asians and African Americans and it’s just, wonderful to see that happening.”

Smaw said the protests are a reminder that “this stuff has always been with us. It  hasn’t gone away.”

He said a new generation is leading the protests.

“Young people are demanding that we give them what we promised that we would give them. And that’s a just society. And you see young people from all backgrounds, demanding that we give them justice. And I think it’s time that we stand up with them, and demand about politicians that they change the systems that existed for a long time.”

This interview first aired on Intersection June 4th, 2020.

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