Maumee march condemns racism; promotes acceptance

Published: Aug. 14, 2017 at 10:37 PM EDT
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As their feet hit the pavement, more than 100 people rallied together to fight back against racism.

No matter their background, they stood as one in Maumee showing support for the counter-protesters in Charlottesville, VA, amid violence.

"Equality matters," Lindsay Stormer, who lives in Toledo said. "I have no room for oppression or racism."

"The hatred has just been growing and these groups are crawling out of the sewer now," Michael Bates, a Toledo resident and Vietnam War veteran told 13abc.

Bates came to Maumee with his family. He says after James Fields Jr., allegedly drove his car into a crowd Saturday, he needed to do something. For him, it's personal.

"When I think about that girl, it hurts," Bates said holding back tears. "If I could give her mother a hug, I would. Stuff like that isn't supposed to happen here."

The crowd that gathered at St. Paul's church hopes to make a difference because many say racism and hate are very real problems.

"As a person of color, it's something that's always apart of your life," Ashley Bunn, member of the Toledo NAACP and Toledo Young Black Professionals board member, said. "It's a consistent reality that you live with."

"I have a son that's gay," Bates said. "If you met him, he would be your best friend, but because of who he loves they [white supremacists] don't want him around. Does that make any sense? Not to me."

Monday, they marched in solidarity hoping to inspire change.

"Often times, it's hard to do that work alone so we combat it and work against it, every moment of every day," Emily Aguilar, an event organizer said.

The march was a step in the right direction. Many hope it catches on and they see real results because some say, this isn't the world they want to live in.

"We're not putting up with it anymore. It stops in Maumee, Ohio," Bates said.

Monday's march was peaceful. Maumee police were on hand but there were no issues to report.