Evanston activists host rally, combat racism at Lighthouse Beach

Evanston, Il (WLS) -- Community members in Evanston are taking a stand against racial injustice.

"I have asked you all here today to make racist people uncomfortable," rally organizer Fuschia Winston-Rodriguez said.

The rally was a community-organized reaction to a racist incident that occurred earlier in the week on Lighthouse Beach.

Wednesday Afternoon, history teacher LaShandra Smith-Rayfield posted a Facebook Live video of a family sitting with a confederate flag beach towel.

"I came here thinking this was a safe place for my children, Wednesday that proved wrong," Smith-Rayfield said. "On the short side, that flag hung there for 45 minutes to an hour. In my video, you saw folks walking on past it. So I'm going to ask you, 'Why is it okay to walk on past it?'"

Smith-Rayfield told the family that the flag was a "racist symbol of hate" and wanted them to know that she wouldn't allow the flag to wave in her neighborhood.

After the conversation, Smith-Rayfield left. Minutes later, other Evanston neighbors took her place, carrying Black Lives Matter signs.

Two days later, hundreds of people returned to the beach, taking a stand.

"We can't talk about Alabama, we can't talk about Texas, we can't talk about any blatant southern racism anymore because we allowed. it here. in our town," one speaker said.

"If we take away all the colors and all the pigments and we just make this a grey world, anyone would see that everything that's being done is illegal," Khari Rayfield said.

It's a community effort that hasn't died down. And they'll continue to step and chant for tolerance until they see a change.
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