“I’m here today to say that if we, this business community, the city of Dayton officials, the police and the media, don’t make a stand and tell the truth about the danger of white supremacy, that we are all responsible for the pain, the suffering, the anguish that our people are going through,” Ramsey said. “We have a social and moral obligation to tell the men and women who seek to destroy black people that not only are they not welcome here in the district, or in the city of Dayton, they are not welcome in our society.”
With it not even a year out from the mass shooting in the Oregon District, Ramsey said “shame on those two white men who came down here after less than a year ago a gun wielding murderer came out here and laid blood and bodies in our streets.”
Emily Mendenhall, the co-owner of Lily’s Bistro, closed business early Saturday after staff alerted her that men were in front of their building with guns and a physical altercation with the men was occurring. A man used a Nazi salute and was in a heated conversation with the people around him, she said.
PHOTOS: Protesters march through the Dayton area on Thursday
“That’s troubling for many reasons, not the least of which is that we’re a community trying our best to recover from the trauma of the mass shooting last Aug. 4. The Oregon District seeks to provide a safe, welcoming and inclusive space and this very much created a problem … my staff was emotionally, visibly, shaken up by this occurrence,” she said.
Mendenhall said some business owners have had property damage, “but that is so minimal in comparison to black and brown people living in constant fear for their lives and ultimately not only losing their lives but rarely seeing justice.”
Kyle Babirad, with CANARY Consulting, said Oregon District businesses supports the Black Lives Matter movement, supports the protesters and are protesters.
“We just call on everyone to tell the story that we’re seeing on the street. We would love to see the same thing being reflected in the stories we’re seeing on the news,” Babirad said.