“You guys are making me ashamed” – Black man calls out Black Lives Matter movement for what he calls promoting stereotypes
SEATTLE – A group of black men in Seattle are speaking out about their frustrations with the Black Lives Matter movement. They created 1 Nation Foundation, an organization they say built to support the black community.
“You guys are making me ashamed,” yelled Iyaraah Yasharahla. He stood out Saturday night, wearing a bright blue t-shirt at the Black Lives Matter protest in Westlake Park.
“Why can’t we come together on our own and do it ourselves,” he asked through a microphone. Hundreds of protesters formed a circle in the intersection at 4th Avenue and Pine Street in Seattle before walking to Safeco Field Saturday. Yasharahla stood on the sidewalk refusing to break the law, begging others to do the same.
“I am tired of walking around and being looked at like I am part of that, just because I am black,” he said on Sunday speaking about the movement.
Iyaraah and four friends created 1 Nation Foundation and their target audience is the same as the Black Lives Matter protest. He’s trying to tell people to put down their signs and pick up one another.
“Why can’t we build a business, build a school?”
Yasharahla said Saturday night’s protest did nothing to promote the black community, instead he said it went a long way to perpetuating stereotypes.
“Since I am angry and oppressed, then I flip over a car,” he said, speaking about their justification. “Why, where is that going to lead?”
“Every time anybody gets killed unjustly by police there’s a hashtag that comes out, Facebook is blowing up, there are t-shirts all of a sudden,” said Ganan Yasharahla, a founding member of 1 Nation Foundation. “Who printed those overnight?”
The men said they understand why the protests are happening, but not what they are meant to be accomplishing. The protesters should be doing constructive things said Iyaraah, those 600 people protesting could’ve been cleaning a park, working with kids or hosting a job fair he argued.
“feel like some of our people just want to feel like they’re getting involved, feel like they’re making a change,” said Yasharahla. “Let’s be for ourselves, let’s do for ourselves what we’ve been trying to get them to do for us for generations.”