Addressing racism at home: Terrence Turner to speak

Published 5:13 pm Wednesday, June 10, 2020

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A father wants to help break racial norms for his son and promote the message that we are stronger together.
Terrance Turner, a coach for Witten Huddle, has been speaking on racial issues via Facebook Live. He said the goal behind these is to get through to people in this area who may not realize racism is real here.
“It’s important to me because I have a five-year-old son, and I don’t want him to have to go through the things I went through,” he said.
“I don’t want him to have to worry about somebody’s parents letting him date their daughter because of their color, or him getting pulled over and wonder if he is going to see his parents again.”
Turner explained he is not doing this just in speaking for black people, but races in general. He hopes to promote racial equality where people can love who they love and wants everyone to be equal.
Turner will be speaking during a discussion on systematic racism via ZOOM on June 16, along with several other speakers.
The event is being hosted by the Carter County Drug Prevention Coalition.
“A lot of people were talking about how they want to do something to really fight the systematic racism in America, but they don’t know what to do or are afraid they will say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing,” said Jillian Reece, director of the organization.
“So, I just wanted to get some people together to share their stories, and just take some questions, and provide a space where they can ask their questions without being afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing.”
Reece said the goal is to have a conversation, with a ZOOM call being a way for people to feel more comfortable doing so.
Reece said she selected various individuals, including Turner, she knows whom she feels could contribute to this conversation. They vary in age and views. A mediator will also be present to keep questions and dialogue organized.
When he reflected on the work he is currently doing, Turner said he is doing the minimum right now and plans to do more.
“If I could change one person with every video I do, and they change one person, then I’m doing my job right,” he said.
Turner said like with his work in sports, his role is to bring people together for a common goal. In this goal, it is equal rights. He stressed that actions in this country need to speak louder than the words of equality. Turner also said many of the people he has spoken with have not realized how well hidden racism in Northeast Tennessee really is.
“It’s a norm around here,” he said. “We are trying to break that norm. We are not ever going to completely get rid of racism, I get that, but we need to bring it to light more and stop trying to hide it so much. We’re stronger together and people need to speak out, don’t be afraid.”
A link to the discussion with the Carter County Drug Prevention Coalition can be found on their Facebook page. It is set up through EventBrite.
Turner said he hopes to be the best he can be, as himself.
“I’m not trying to be Martin Luther King, all I’m trying to be is Terrence Turner, and be the best Terrence Turner I can be,” he said. “I wouldn’t be the best person I could be if I wasn’t trying to do something for this.”

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