Charleston pastor speaks on race relations and solutions at USC - FOX Carolina 21

Charleston pastor speaks on race relations and solutions at USC Upstate

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SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Speaking before a few hundred USC Upstate students Thursday, Pastor Eric Manning said now more than ever, Americans needed to come together.

Manning says recent events like the violence that erupted at protests in Charlottesville, VA this summer led him to believe race relations are regressing.

"You see what took place and what happened,” said Manning. “It’s something we must be able to stand up and say we're not going to allow for this to take place."

He drove to the Upstate in hopes of spreading the message that things can change for the better in the United States. Manning also wanted to drive home the importance of having an open dialog about race in the country - something he says happened following the church shooting in Charleston more than 2 years ago.

"Charleston came together. Always reminding, not only the city of Charleston, but also the state and country and world, that love is stronger than hate," said Manning.

USC Upstate students say they learned a lot from listening to Pastor Manning. Some believe there are viable solutions in improving what they call division among Americans.

Junior Alonzo Myers said, “The only solution I can think of right now is Love. If everyone can just come together and love each other."

Sophomore Kenyatta Jeffcoat added, “I feel like love, God, faith all of those attributes come together and make us a better country."

Manning says he’d like to see more political leaders step up and try to unify Americans. He says it will take every man and woman in America to bring equality and unity.

"Leadership is everything,” said Manning. “Realistically, leadership sets the tone."

Manning is also a veteran and says the protests going on in the NFL don’t offend him. He says he would, however, like to see it turn into something tangible down the road.

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