REV. HUGH MORRIS: Local NAACP pleased more people are rising up against injustices of systemic racism (column)

Rev. Hugh Morris (2019)

The Rev. Hugh Morris is president of the Talladega County Chapter of the NAACP. 

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, founded in 1909, has been at the forefront of the battle for civil rights for African-Americans and other people of color. 

Its founders (whites, Blacks and Jewish) recognized a free society was not totally free until all people receive equal justice and treatment under the law and in society in general. 

Violence against minorities was one of the main catalysts for their organizing the NAACP. One hundred ten years later, violence against Blacks is still a nationwide problem, only now the very group (some police) who are sworn to protect and serve all citizens appear to have a free rein to commit violent acts against Blacks (male and female) under the color of law, even the killing of George Floyd, who, by the way, is not the latest victim of unnecessary and unlawful police violence under the color of law. 

We are not indicting ALL police, only the ones who are allowed to perpetrate violent acts and unequal treatment against minorities all while protected by the silence of their co-workers who become complicit in their illegal and discriminatory conduct and behavior.

We must work to rebuild the bonds of trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. 

Across the country, there are police officers inspiring trust and confidence, honorably doing their duty and demonstrating that it is possible to prevent crime without relying on unnecessary force. They deserve our respect and support, and we should learn from those examples and build on what works. 

That is why I presented a “Citizens Review Board” proposal to the city manager last year, but we have yet to sit down at the table and commit to an agreement.

Police violence against Blacks is only one of a long list of unequal, illegal and disparate treatments foisted against Blacks by some of the white majority. Black on Black crime is also a concern. However, racism has been a part of America since its founding. Through slavery, civil war, reconstruction, civil rights, police misconduct and violations of constitutional rights and laws, the ruling majority had turned a blind eye to the evils and scourge of the mistreatment of human beings who are also God's children. 

But, by the Grace of God, some eyes are now open, and people are rising all over the country, the world, to say “ENOUGH!” 

There comes a time when silence is betrayal. Stop the killings. Black Lives do matter in this world. We are all God's children. Open your eyes, see the truth and work to ensure justice and equality for all. 

As the protests continue in the United States, people of all colors around the world are standing up together and saying “ENOUGH.” People took to the streets of the world to express the need for police reform and racial equality. Protesters around the world represent multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-nationalities who are outraged by these atrocities. 

Yet, there are some who refuse to accept change and continue to spew their hatred, separatism and racism to fan the flames of discord. Some throw rocks and hide their hands, but this injustice has been exposed all over the world and people are standing unified, collectively, and shouting “ENOUGH!” 

The NAACP believes everyone deserves the chance to live up to his or her God-given potential. There are some wonderful people in Talladega who are outraged as well and are obliged to stand against injustice. 

There is much work in civil rights to be done by “ALL” in trying to eliminate not only overt acts, but systemic racial discrimination in our daily lives and institutions. We must challenge and dismantle such structures. Be assured that the NAACP is working and concerned about issues affecting the lives of ALL our citizens. 

The Rev. Hugh Morris is president of the Talladega County Chapter of the NAACP.