Dripping Springs man holds sign on corner to address uncomfortable conversations on race

Local

DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas (KXAN) — If you live in Dripping Springs, you may have seen a man on the corner of Ranch Road 12 and Mercer Street in recent days.

For three days, Nifa Kaniga has been standing at that street corner welcoming all conversations about race.

The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody sparked protests against police brutality and racism in the country. The demonstrations and protests have continued for nearly two weeks following the incident in Minnesota.

“It’s the same story, different city. A black man dies, we do our little protest.. our little song a dance. People forget. A black man dies…people do a little song and dance and forget. Over and over and over and over again. No one was held accountable at that time. You know, they were held accountable, but it’s sad it took cities burning and riots and violence and more killings to get to the point where we got to,” Kaniga said.

Kaniga hoped his sign would encourage people to talk about the uncomfortable topics at the forefront of the world.

“I hope people recognize that there are black people in Dripping Springs. And it doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. It will be uncomfortable for people to come out of their bubble,” Kaniga said.

Kaniga made a Facebook profile so people could start and carry on a conversation with him through the site’s Messenger feature.

He posted in the group “Dripping Springs Neighbors II” that he’ll talk with anybody about race.

“It’s an open mic in my DMs,” he wrote.

Several people approached Kaniga for conversation on Monday.

“Love you, brother. Keep it up. I’m standing behind you and I’m sure Dripping Springs will stand behind you,” a man said to Kaniga.

Kaniga is currently furloughed from his job. He’s also a student at the University of Texas at Dallas. He’s been staying with his parents in Dripping Springs.

Watch the full story from KXAN Photojournalist Frank Martinez in the above video player.

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