As the Bernie Sanders rally at Adams Field was winding down, a Black Lives Matter rally was held in front of the MSU Union.
East Lansing resident Kwafo Adarkwa brought his family, including his two young daughters.
“I have two children that are biracial and it’s important for them to feel safe, for me to feel safe. And I’ve grown up around officers – and it’s not all officers – but there are enough officers and enough situations and enough tumult in the country that it makes sense to stand up for something,” Adarkwa said.
He said presidential candidates should be held accountable for what they’re saying they will do.
“There’s a lot of promises made, especially in this season, so it’ll be really important for us as a country to hold whoever wins the election accountable for the stuff they’re saying and the promises they’re making,” he said.
Michigan State junior Caroline Redick, said her views of race relations, among other issues, is the reason she intends to vote for Hillary Clinton.
Clinton shares her views, , she said.
“I mean, Hillary hasn’t really come out with any specific framework that I’ve seen, but she seems to be pretty good at elevating black voices and I think that she’s a really accurate representation of her liberal electorate,” she said.
“She has plans for prison reform, which I think is an important part of the movement. The incarceration of black men is, like, crazily unjust, so I think that Hillary will be able to appoint the government officials who will hold the same opinions on that and make a difference,” Redick said.
Passersby shouted an obscenity and Trump’s name, but he was not mentioned at the rally.
Judy Bridget, who works at the Greater Lansing Network Against War and Injustice, said that the next president would not be able to fix race relations in America on their own.
“We need to have grassroots efforts from all over the country,” Bridget said.
Rally attendee and Michigan State freshman Jasmine Truly said race issues are extremely important to her heading into elections.
“A big fear of mine is getting stopped by the police. I always make sure that I’m driving the speed limit, I’ve got all my lights together, got my license and registration out on the dashboard,” she said.
Truly said, “I support Bernie Sanders and all of his points, especially his support of the Black Lives Matter movement, being a black student here at MSU.”
Truly said if candidates follow through on what they say they’ll do to help ease race relations, it will only start to fix the problem.
“It’s such a big problem that it’s not something that can be solved within four years,” she said.
Adarkwa said mass incarceration of minorities is a huge issue.
“It’s something that, in order for the country to move forward, has to be dealt with. And I really hope that both candidates can hold true in their promise to try and fix the broken prison system.”
He said he’s focused on many issues “between social and economic, and what you want the future for your kids to be.”