For the second time since the George Floyd incident on Memorial Day, the Houston County NAACP held a peaceful protest march. The first was a “Unity in the Community” event in Warner Robins and the most recent event was in the city of Perry on July 11 with the hope of bringing continued awareness about equal justice and keeping the names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others alive as a reminder that ‘the fight is not over’.
Rutha Jackson, head of the Houston County branch of the NAACP, spoke about the main reason for the event.
“I believe ‘The Fight Is Not Over’ illuminates our purpose. We have not retreated because it seems that the hype of George Floyd’s murder is fizzling out. We want everyone to know that justice and equality is still our mainstay whether a few are shouting or many are shouting. ….our voices are being heard. So overall it served its purpose.”
Jackson says the Houston County NAACP is also active in encouraging people to register to vote in the upcoming November elections which will have an impact on local and state politics along with the Presidency.
“This is not just a slogan “Your Vote Is Your Voice”. We march for change and the only ways to make change happen is to vote and then run for an office. It has been said that if you are not at the table, then you are on the menu. It is time to step up and be counted.”
Even though Houston County has been a historically Republican county, but over the last fifteen years, it has become more diverse– especially in the cities of Warner Robins, Perry and Centerville. Warner Robins’ population overall population is approaching 80,000 with its minority population nearly 50 percent– African-Americans comprising 40 percent.
Jackson wants to stress that elections have consequences. Additionally, voting in elections can impact how justice is served in your community.
“Can your vote make a difference in your struggle, yes it can. Can your vote acquire resources, yes it can. Can your vote determine what happens in our judicial systems, yes it can. Can your vote make a difference in the education systems? Yes, it can. Your one vote can be the deciding factor for change to happen. Don’t be afraid to vote. You may not see it right now but trust your future. Vote!”
Jackson further states: “It is imperative that we educate our Black and Brown children so their voice can be heard and not muzzled in this systemic problematic society.”
In recent years, there has been an ongoing effort to diversify the Warner Robins Police Department in regard to improving hiring and promotion practices along with improving diversity at Warner Robins City Hall, Houston County Board of Education, and Robins Air Force Base.
Jackson, in closing, said the following: “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” (Proverbs 29).