MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A group rallying against gun violence joined protesters at Clayborn Temple Wednesday night. The two groups united and brought one voice to two different causes.
A symbolic funeral procession started in South Memphis and ended at the temple. At the center of the procession was an empty hearse representing all lives lost to gun violence, including five lives over Memorial Day weekend. Activists call it the Ride of Tears.
Stevie Moore’s son was shot and killed years ago. His organization, Freedom from Unnecessary Negatives, helped coordinate the ride.
They joined a second group of protesters at the temple. That group was honoring George Floyd and rallying against police brutality.
“My son got killed 17 years ago. That guy was wrong. The police killed Floyd. That guy was wrong,” Moore said. “So I don’t want to get it confused. Wrong is wrong.”
Veronique Grayer and her two sons were part of the ride and the gathered at Clayborn Temple.
“I really hope that this will make a better change for us and be just positive,” she said.
Activists for both causes agree that empathy, respect and compassion go a long way.
“We’ve got to hug more; that’s a big thing,” Moore said. “Now we can’t hug now because of COVID-19, but we got to show children that we love them so they won’t grow up in the same violent situation.”