"Stop filming us dying and help us live."

Those were the words issued by Karium Carter, the pastor of Mount Hermon Baptist Church in Mineral Wells and one of several speakers who took the stage following a march Saturday evening to bring awareness to racial injustice.

Carter said he was hurt and frustrated.

"We missed the mark and nobody is listening, and yet we still have a problem with racism. And I'm here to call Mineral Wells out today because you know we have a problem."

Carter encouraged the community to not turn a blind eye, and to stand up for what's right and speak on the behalf of black, brown, red and yellow kids and give them a voice.

"Make sure America is OK tomorrow for all of our children," he said. "We have to make a stand. We have to call it how we see it."

Carter noted that not every police department is corrupt, nor every officer a bad officer. 

"But what we are calling for is justice," he said. "It's time to end the systemic racism. It's hard when you haven't put on the skin of a black man, when you haven't walked in the shoes of a black man."

Carter described some of his personal experiences as the general manager at a local business, including being called racial slurs and seeing customers walk down the other side of the aisle to avoid him.

"I'm not a threat, we are not a threat, my people are not a threat," he said. "We are brothers and sisters and we are asking you to walk hand in hand with us in this fight against racism in America."

Eric Douglas, the pastor of First Methodist Church in Mineral Wells, who is also the son of an immigrant, said he had issued a challenge to his congregation recently that the time for talking is over.

“Listen to the people who’s voices aren’t heard, let their voices educate you," he said. "Until we can do that, there will not be any change, there won’t be any justice.”

Douglas asked the group to resist the evil and injustice that is happening to people of a different color.

"No one should have to feel they are being judged because they look differently," he said. "We are all created in the image of the One who creates all things.

"All of us, especially those with any sort of privilege, must be humble and intentional in our actions to bring that justice about."

Resident Dennis Carter said he has experienced several instances of discrimination in the community.

"Everybody is nice and peaceful in Mineral Wells and I like that, but as long as you don't say nothing, everything is good," he said. "But the minute you start speaking, then you get a letter from the police saying that you have incited a riot and you need to be quiet."

Carter called on city leaders to help bring about change.

"The city, the city council, until all that racism gets out of there, that's when it becomes a change," he said. "But if the big people aren't listening, it's still going to be the same, and that's how we see it as a black community."

Roza Calderon, a human rights activist and former congressional candidate in California, said that after more than 400 years, the country is still fighting the same fight.

"I was a kid when the Rodney King trials were going on, and I didn't really understand the racial context or slurs," she said. "But I understood the pain and the anger."

Calderon, who's family came to the U.S. from El Salvador, has lived in California and Texas, settling in the Mineral Wells area about a year ago.

"When I announced I was going to be speaking, I was told to 'go back home to California' or even 'go back to my country,'" she said. "And these weren't just messages from Democrats or Republicans, they were from everyone. This isn't a right issue or a left issue, it's about doing the right thing for humanity.

"Black lives matter. And although we say all lives matter, we're fooling ourselves because until black lives matter too, none of us matter."

Calderon said there are good cops and there are bad cops, and issued a challenge to end police brutality and reform police departments.

"We must demand accountability and, most of all — after all the marches, speeches and fights, the pain, anger and tears — that we see some justice," she said. "No matter how small you feel, we are giants when we unite and fight for one another."

Those in attendance were encouraged to recite the names of black individuals killed by police.

Voter registration cards were also handed out and individuals were asked to "let [their] voices be heard at the polls." Mineral Wells police were on hand during the speaking engagements, and helped direct traffic as the group marched down Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.

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