DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – An online petition wants the Black Lives Matter message displayed high above the streets from where protesters are evoking it — on the Omni Hotel in downtown Dallas.
Within a day, the Change.org petition asking the hotel to show the call to action gained substantial support. Only hours after going live, it had surpassed an original goal of 1,500 signatures. Currently more than 6,500 people have signed it.
“This moment is important, and no one in the city has a bigger platform to spread a message of solidarity than the Omni,” said the petition’s creator, Josh Smith, who owns a concert production company in Dallas.
Starting with the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013, the Omni lights have shown even brighter as a sign of unity, projected during dark times.
Since then, the display, which consists of 3,333 LED lights inside plastic tubes, was used for the Paris attacks in 2015, the Brussels airport bombing and Dallas police ambush.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the words “Light It Blue” shown bright and friendly reminders to “Stay Home” and “Wash Your Hands” were displayed.
Just this week, Reunion Tower joined a solemn movement sweeping social media called #BlackoutTuesday, going dark in a show of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. No doubt, the petition’s request is an extension of that, another way to garner support for the international human rights movement.
Also, several major corporations voiced support for the movement, including AT&T, Mary Kay, WingStop and Neiman Marcus, which are all based in North Texas.
“The events of the past few days underscore the violence and racism faced by black people in America today. At AT&T we stand for equality and embrace freedom,” AT&T tweeted.
For eight minutes and 46 seconds, entertainment networks owned by ViacomCBS went dark to honor the memory of George Floyd, the unarmed black man who was killed by a Minneapolis Police officer last week.
ViacomCBS also owns CBS 11 News.
Set in channels between each floor of the building, the LED’s would stretch out to 2.8 miles of lights — that’s a huge platform where three words could easily fit.
“This gesture isn’t intended to heal all of our city’s wounds, but it can symbolically jumpstart the process. We don’t have to wait. It can start tonight, just by displaying those three words: Black Lives Matter,” said Smith.
The Omni lights turn on nightly, from sunset to 2 a.m., and then 5:30 a.m. to sunrise.