Cole the Barber Speaks His Truth
ERIE, PA (July 14, 2016) Cole "Cole The Barber" Stewart standing outside of Boss Cuts Barber Shop in Erie, PA
Days after the citizens of North America were celebrating it’s “independence day”, police officers in Baton Rouge, LA and St. Anthony, MN were caught on tape fatally shooting African- American men. Due to social media it did not take long for people not only in America, but also all over world to view what had happen on July 5th and 6th. Many people were hurt because they had witnessed another case of police brutality and officers not being held accountable for their actions.
As more information about the fatal shootings came into light, some people went to their social network accounts to express their feelings, which every citizen in America has the right to do since it is their first amendment. One person that felt the need to do so was a 23-year-old barber from Erie, PA named Cole “Cole The Barber” Stewart.
Stewart posted on Facebook, “There is about 100 cops in every police station and in every community, there are at least 100,000 or more people. So you do the math. We will end y’all f------ careers!”
The post went on to say, “If we come together, it’s over for y’all. Including you false a-- advertising news-stations, always trying to switch the f------ story up! #BlackFathersMatter #BlackLivesMatter #ComeTogether #FightBack.”
Stewart began to receive support and backlash from people that saw the post. As Stewart reflected on the post, he did not want to add negative energy to the situation so he decided to take the post down. Yet, he still felt that he could turn a negative situation into something positive.
He then chose to conduct a peace rally to bring unity to the city of Erie. The date of the rally was scheduled for July 15, 2016, which were one of the days of the Erie branded bike rally “Roar on the Shore”. Some citizens of Erie thought the peace rally was to boycott “Roar on the Shore”, and Stewart soon began to receive hate mail and death threats.
Stewart then spoke to local news stations to let people know that the peace rally was not a boycott of any kind, nor were his intentions to cause any harm to any of their patrons. Instead, this rally was planned in order to bring peace and unity to people in Erie, PA, along with people of all races that were coming to attend the “Roar on the Shore” bike rally.
He also stated that his Facebook post was not an “anti- police” rant. It was more so stating that if the community started coming together, then it can end the careers of corrupt police officers. After he pleaded his case, some people sent him messages stating that they were sorry for their comments about his intentions and some people continued to bash him.
One day before the peace rally was planned, Stewart received a call from an undisclosed person of Erie stating, that having the peace rally at this time (during Roar on the Shore), is not a good idea. Stewart declines to reveal to the press whom the person was that he spoke to and decided to postpone the peace rally for another date.
Stewart’s intentions are not going to be ignored nor forgotten. He plans to work with people from the Erie City Council to conduct more rallies to bring unity to all the citizens of Erie. This will not be the last time that you will hear of the barber from Erie, PA that chose to not only speak his mind but to also stand for what the city of Erie deserves, which is peace.