Black Lives Matter protesters badgered young cheerleaders while they entered the Kentucky International Convention Center in downtown Louisville for a cheer competition on Saturday.
One of the protester leaders Carmen M. Jones, who said Sunday that she stands by her comments, yelled at the girls for their “white privilege” and told one of the women with the cheerleaders that she better “make sure your kids aren’t somebody my kids are gonna have to beat up.”
“The reason why you get to be here in these pretty little gorgeous outfits and your gorgeous hair and your gorgeous bows is because of your white privilege,” Jones said over a megaphone to the girls.
“Breonna [Taylor] is dead,” she told the girls and their parents. “Black mothers are burying their babies while white mothers send their daughters to cheer competitions.”
Pushing back against the harassment, one of the women said in the direction of the protesters, “They’re yelling at our girls for no reason.”
Jones responded to the complaint, “I am on your a**, I am on your a**, you cannot come through that door without me being on your a**.”
“Black Lives Matter, I agree,” the woman told Jones.
“Tell your kids that — make sure your kids aren’t somebody my kids are gonna have to beat up,” Jones replied.
A father of cheerleaders who went only by Rob told WDRB that the protesters “were badgering” the girls “all the way in the door.” His oldest daughter, he said, “cried for about an hour” over the incident.
“You could see it affected all these kids,” Rob said.
The father said demonstrators have a right to protest, of course, but should leave innocent children out of it.
“If there’s a problem within life, you keep it between adults,” he said. “You don’t take kids and add them into the problems. It had nothing to do with them. Even if you have something that you’re passionate about. That wasn’t the way to go about it.”
Jones, however, said she and “other protesters” stands by their harassment of the young girls.
“Yes, I did tell them don’t be somebody that my child is going to have to fight,” she told WDRB. “Because right now I’m fighting the grandchildren, the great grandchildren of people’s ancestors who didn’t do right.
“… Breonna Taylor will never be able to have a child to be able to take to a cheer competition,” she added. “If black kids are children enough and child enough and mature enough to go through the things that we go through as children, then their children are children enough, child enough and mature enough to learn about their privilege.”
Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker fired at plainclothes officers executing a raid on the young woman’s home on March 13; officers returned fire and the altercation left Taylor dead and one officer shot.