March on Court Street combats racism

By Megan Carpenter

November 2, 2013 Updated Nov 2, 2013 at 1:31 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) People of all races, ages and religions marched for one purpose on Friday night.

Through loud chants of "stop racism now," their message was clear.

"We think the entire community should be as united and as tolerant of different races, sexes, religions and beliefs," said Monique Saastamoinen, a member of Alpha Delta Phi.

The downtown Binghamton rally comes on the heels of an incident that happened Aug. 25, 2013.

On that night, marchers say Kyle Lovett-Pitts was verbally assaulted at Dillingers Pub.

Pitts is a Broome Community College student and lifelong resident of Binghamton. Pitts is also black.

Pitts was arrested outside Dillingers that night, images that were supposed caught on a small and shaky cell phone video.

Someone in the video is overheard yelling racial epithets.

"The voice on the video was identified as one of the owners," said Sean Massey, former councilman and current chairman of Binghamton's Human Rights Commission.

Dillingers declined to comment Saturday and it has not been confirmed that the owner was on the video.

Pitts' mother said the incident was a hate crime.

"I'm very upset and disgusted by the treatment that my son received," Stacey Lovett-Pitts said.

She joined the Court Street marchers Saturday night to ask other business owners to sign a banner, pledging to stand against racism.

Nearly a dozen signed it, taking the pledge to not let what happened to Kyle happen again.

"It's for every child no matter his race is or her race or who they are or where they come from," Lovett-Pitts said. "It's not just for my child. Binghamton needs to have a wake-up call."

Nearly 200 people showed their support Friday night.

Among them were several student groups, including the Confronting Racism Coordinating Committee, Women's Student Union and Black Student Union.