BANGOR – Growing up in Lincoln, Maine, Cayden Spencer-Thompson was one of two black kids at his high school.
The track star says he was exposed to racism for the first time in fourth grade when kids wouldn’t allow him to sit at their table because of the color of his skin. He also experienced racism on the football field saying he was called the “n” word multiple times.
About 1,200 miles away Spencer-Thompson is one of hundreds making their voices heard.
Cayden Spencer-Thompson always wanted to make a difference, but felt he wasn’t in the right place growing up in Lincoln, that has changed.
“All during high school I see these huge news things and I post something on my story but I’m like I’m not doing enough I felt like I could do something more so I finally got down here and there’s protests three minutes away,” Spencer-Thompson said.
You can find Spencer-Thompson at the epicenter of Louisville demonstrations protesting the deaths of Breonna Taylor and later George Floyd making his voice heard.
“I’m not going to miss this opportunity. I’m not going to wake up in three years and say damn I should have went back and fought. I think this is going to be a big part of history and I just want to be on the right side,” Spencer-Thompson added.
Spencer-Thompson says the protests he’s taken part in have been peaceful, but have escalated to the point where the Louisville freshman had rubber bullets and tear gas fired in his direction.
After taking off Tuesday night due to fears over increased violence and police presence, Spencer-Thompson plans to return to protest Wednesday.
“It’s a touchy situation because I’m not in their (police) shoes, but I’m on the other side of their barrel and it’s just scary so I don’t know what they’ve been told but they’re acting very quickly they’re not letting us protest,” he said.
He’s walked with hundreds and ran for safety, but he won’t stop, as he strives to put an end to what he and countless others have experienced.
“Rappers talk about how they make their millions they had this one memory of when they were evicted when they were six and ever since then they wanted money I guess you can say the same thing ever since I felt that way towards me I’ve always just been like I need to do something,” he said.