DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas - Nifa Kaniga stands near the corner of RM 12 and Mercer Street in Dripping Springs carrying a large white sign that reads, “Ask me anything.”
“I’m also here to listen to people too,” Kaniga said. “I want to hear other people‘s opinions about what is going on and just have discussions because that is all we need to do, just talk to each other and stop fighting.“
In the wake of unrest across the nation surrounding the death of George Floyd, Kaniga attended protests in Austin. Raising his voice in a crowd of thousands, he felt unheard and decided the most effective place to have conversations about race was at home.
Get breaking news alerts in the FOX 7 Austin News app. It is FREE!
“It hurt emotionally, that is why I left crying, that was my breaking point,” said Kaniga. “I feel like coming out here helps in a way. I’m willing to have that conversation with people, explain to people some of the stuff that is going on.”
Throughout the day people with differentiating views gathered around Kaniga waiting to speak with him and eventually carried the conversation amongst themselves. Cars would honk along the roadway and families carried coolers of cold water and brought him snacks. Kaniga was one of two black students at Dripping Springs High School and said he didn’t expect the amount of love he’s seen from the community in the past five days.
“I had low expectations and you know that’s just my bias but I’ve been proven wrong just by the amount of people who are coming here and showing me support,” said Kaniga.
Kaniga explained not everyone will agree with him nor will anyone walk away with their minds completely changed but he hopes people feel heard.
“I’ll listen to them. I will respect their views, it’s just coming and having discussions and talking about the stuff that makes us uncomfortable that I think will bring us together,” said Kaniga.
Kaniga plans to be in the same spot every day from noon until sundown.