As protests and demonstrations continue across the U.S., many people are speaking out on social injustice and equality issues via social media. Tyler Merritt, the creator of the viral video Before you call., spoke with Narcity on his thoughts about the piece reaching so many during the nationwide demonstrations. The 2018 video is once again trending and even aired on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Merritt grew up in Las Vegas and is the creator of the Tyler Merritt Project, which aims "to bring more love and laughter into the world."
"I want to encourage people and help people feel seen [...] that their life matters," Merritt told Narcity.
Merritt originally made the two-minute, forty-seven-second piece after an encounter during his daily walk in Tennessee back in 2018.
"I started thinking about how it would change the way we look at each out if we recognized how much we have in common and if that might just save lives," he explained regarding people of every race and their attitudes toward each other.
The video recently aired on a segment during Jimmy Kimmel's show, and Narcity asked how it felt to have his piece premier on a nationally acclaimed program during such a profound time in history.
"It was incredible to see Jimmy use his voice and platform to speak on behalf of black people and realize that I was at the end of the segment. I got to be a part of that moment!"
This is who I am Challenge. Desperate times call for the best of who we are. Your life matters. #THISISWHOIAM… https://t.co/SJNpcRfgYS— The Tyler Merritt Project (@The Tyler Merritt Project) 1591223755.0
When asked how he felt about the video recirculating during these intense times, he replied "Two years ago the fight was simply to prove that what people were watching on their phones or on their televisions was actually happening."
"This time around at least it seems that most people get it. They see that people that look like me are losing their lives for absolutely no reason."
“And that’s why I’m a police officer” Damn. Yeah, that’ll Retweet. LFG!!!#thisiswhoiam #ALLYINBLUE… https://t.co/QoX4iDCyNh— The Tyler Merritt Project (@The Tyler Merritt Project) 1591405803.0
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, protests continued Sunday night, June 7, along the Strip and in North Vegas. It marked the 10th night in a row of demonstrations.
Merritt's video speaks to the times, alongside demonstrations in the city that have been speaking out against racial and social injustice.
He told Narcity, "I am honored to have my voice as a part of the conversation."
When Narcity inquired if he plans to make more videos, he replied "I definitely do. But I've learned to wait until I have a clear vision to do so."