The boy, 10 years old, gives a passionate speech on racism during a council meeting

Inside Edition Digital speaks with a 10-year old Oregon boy, who shocked members of the Oregon city council by delivering a powerful speech on racism. The boy hopes that his words reach those who spread such hatred.

Gavin Alston, a fourth-grader from Redmond, read a prepared speech at last week’s city council meeting about how he’s been called the “N-word” and “monkey” by his classmates.

“One girl said to me, ‘I would hit you, but that’s called animal abuse,’” Gavin said during his speech.

“We should not get treated like this,” he added. “We should get treated equally. This is not fair to us Black people.”

Gavin says that his mother Heather was by his side when he made the speech. “I understand how you can be treated differently based on your skin tone.”

Gavin was despite himself “really anxious” in a room of mostly adults of color. He said, “I thought I would be the only one there. I wasn’t, but I found it really frightening.”

The boy’s speech came after Redmond Mayor Ed Fitch found a dead raccoon and a sign containing what he described as “intimidating language” outside his private law office, the Redmond Police Department Said in a News Release. The sign mentioned him and City Councilor Clifford Evelyn by name, officials said. Evelyn is the only Black person on the city council.

In a press release, Chief Devin Lewis stated that the Redmond Police Department does not tolerate hate speech against anyone or any group. We will resolve the case quickly and hold responsible those who have done this. The police are still looking into the incident.

Evelyn brought up the incident in the meeting of the city council before Gavin spoke.

“For those who do not support teaching accurate—and sometimes uncomfortable—American history in our schools, this is why it’s important to do so. Apparently, history repeats itself,” he said. “Dog whistles and gestures will not deter me from my duties as city council.”

Evelyn thanked also the residents of the local community for their help.

Gavin found it necessary to express his support for Evelyn.

“Why should us Black people suffer from racism, when there are other races doing murders?” Gavin said during his speech. “When us Black people are showing respect, but we still get treated like crap?”

Inside Edition Digital: “I told him that he should have been treated differently. It is unfair.”

Fitch wrote to Inside Edition Digital that both he and members of the community are impressed with the youngster.

We were all moved by the statement he made and his courage in addressing the Council as well as a broad audience.

Gavin’s mother Heather tells Inside Edition Digital that her son is “very proud”. She also notes that no one has helped Gavin with his speech. Heather, Gavin’s mother tells Inside Edition Digital that they would not have allowed him to write nonsense in his writing. “I don’t believe it was appropriate for a 10 year old,” Heather says. Heather, his mother tells Inside Edition Digital that “he was writing something he felt like doing and it was on his behalf.”

Heather describes Fitch’s compliment of her son as “something massive” saying that having the Mayor talk about one or my kids “is amazing”.

Gavin’s mother says that, although he included some examples, the speech wasn’t meant to criticize his school or city. She says that Gavin went to the school to show support for Cliff, and let everyone know racism is more prevalent than people realize.

“(My) kids love Redmond. The school district is loved by the kids, but the district could do more to improve the situation for the children who deal with racism, instead of saying, “Oh, sorry,” and other things. “I think there should be more,” says the woman.

The Alstons will be organizing a protest against racism at the end of this month. Gavin does not plan to slow down when it comes to activism and advocating a diversified educational system.

This flyer is for the Redmond march against racism. – Alston Family

“I believe we have not learned enough about Martin Luther King and Black History Month,” says he. I feel that some racists should stop being so because they heard my speech. They are saying, “Dang, this child is really good.” I don’t think I should be so racist.

In December, Alston’s parents notified school officials he was being bullied verbally and racially, KTVZ reported.

Redmond’s School District said, in an Inside Edition Digital statement, that Gavin, his parents, and the Redmond school district were able to communicate with their school regarding the abusive language that Gavin described during his testimonies. Gavin’s parents contacted the school to let them know that inappropriate name calling was happening on and around school grounds, during recesses and while walking to and from school.”

Redmond School district says the Redmond students who were involved in the incident received counseling after it was reported.

“It is the right of every student to feel safe and welcome in our schools,” Redmond School District Superintendent Dr. Charan Cline said in a press release obtained by Inside Edition Digital in response to hearing Gavin’s story.

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