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10-Year-Old Black Boy Gives Devastating Testimony on Racism: How He Was Called ‘Monkey’

Gavin Alston, a 10-year-old African American boy from Redmond, Oregon, delivered a heartfelt speech at a city council meeting, sharing his experiences of racism. Gavin revealed that he had been subjected to racial slurs such as the “n-word” and “monkey” by his classmates.

Motivated by a recent incident involving a dead raccoon left outside the mayor’s office with a message aimed at a black councilman, Gavin decided to speak out. Reading from a lined notebook paper, which he had written the night before, he addressed the Redmond City Council, recounting the racist treatment he faced since transferring to a new school.

“People have been calling me the n-word or a monkey, even ‘Black boy,'” Gavin bravely expressed. “One girl said to me, ‘I would hit you, but that’s called animal abuse.'” Standing before the predominantly white assembly, Gavin demanded accountability and urged for change, reported the Washington Post.

“Why should we black people suffer from racism when there are other races committing crimes?” Gavin questioned. “We show respect, but we still get treated poorly.” He continued, “We should not be treated like this. We deserve equal treatment. This is not fair to us black people.”

Gavin’s impassioned plea occurred a week after the mayor discovered the dead raccoon and an intimidating sign directed at the black councilor outside his law office. The incident was condemned as a hate crime by Councilor Clifford Evelyn, the city’s first and only black council member.

Heather Alston, Gavin’s mother, and her husband attended the city council meeting to support Evelyn and Mayor Ed Fitch. When Gavin learned about their plans, he expressed his desire to join them. Though his mother warned him about the attention he would receive, Gavin confidently replied, “That’s fine.”

Gavin composed his speech independently the night before, and a photo shared on social media captured the moment. Despite feeling nervous, the young boy mustered the courage to speak.

According to the NY Post, As Gavin approached the lectern, he struggled to reach the microphone due to his height. Mayor Fitch lightened the mood with a humorous remark, but the atmosphere quickly changed when Gavin started sharing his experiences of bigotry at school and highlighting racial inequality.

Gavin’s speech resonated with the audience, receiving applause. However, upon returning to his parents, he burst into tears, reflecting on the mistreatment he endured from his peers. “I want people to change and not judge others based on their skin color,” expressed the fourth-grader, sharing his hope for a more inclusive society.

Proud of her son’s courageous stance, Heather took to Facebook to commend him. She wrote, “I’m so proud of this young man standing up for himself and his people!! My heart just melts.”

Paul joined the Manchester Evening News in 2004 and Tosbos in 2022. A senior reporter, he's experienced in crime and court reporting - and also holds the defense portfolio.


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