You Couldn’t Really Have a Heart and Hurt Me: Zianna Oliphant Makes a Powerful Statement to the Charlotte City Council

ziannaoliphant

Little kids are so much braver and stronger than they know; than we know. They are truth. Little kids don’t go out on the playground and think about what color anyone is; they don’t care. They just want to play, and they’re happy to do it with open hearts, full of wonder and love and kindness.

Following the September 20th police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina, this fourth grader, Zianna Oliphant, felt confused by what was happening around her. Monday night, after the release of a video that did nothing to clarify the shooting, Mayor Jennifer Roberts held a town hall meeting where people spoke for more than two hours; Zianna was one of those who addressed the mayor and other city officials.

She speaks for us all; for anyone who ever had a heart.

We are all shamed. A 9-year-old shouldn’t have to remind a one of us how to treat each other. We shouldn’t be continually marching backwards after the hell so many people have gone through to teach us the simplest of lessons; one the youngest of children can easily understand: The color of your skin means nothing. We are one.

“… I don’t like how we are treated just because of our color, and it doesn’t mean anything to me.”

It shouldn’t mean anything to anyone, sweet girl.

It’s not hate. We don’t hate the police. We hate how we are treated by the police, how we are targeted by the police. (Oliphant)

 

Cindy Davis

Cindy Davis

Cindy Davis has been writing about the entertainment industry for ​over seven years, and is the ​Editor-in-Chief at Oohlo, where she muses over television, movies, and pop culture. Previous Senior News Editor at Pajiba, and published at BUST.

  • KWDragon

    Her speech was terrific. She was heartfelt in her delivery and far more composed than I would have been in that situation, at 9 years old or now at 49.

    What bothered me was early on in her speech when some people, who I could not hear clearly, sounded like they were trying to interrupt her or shut her down. Her supporters stepped up and called for the delay to not go against Ms. Oliphant’s time, which – good on them. Who the hell would heckle or put down a 9-year-old? That is, like, the ultimate bottom dweller. Charlotte, you are not showing your best to the world right now. Ms. Oliphant is among your best, and she deserves to be heard.