Race Relations in Jacksonville
Updated: Dec 27, 2017
Group says Mayor and Sheriff are leading the city backwards.
CITIZENS OF JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA
The Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People have opted out of next year’s MLK Breakfast. We have decided not to attend, participate and support the City`s Celebration of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Breakfast January 2018.
We will no longer choose to go alone with Mayor Lenny Curry`s direction to continuously ignore the serious Economic, Racial and Social Injustices that plague this City. We no longer want to be considered as a silent partner , who are given absolutely no opportunity in the true planning and execution of the City`s Premier event for the New Year, highlighting Dr. King`s life`s work of challenging Injustice everywhere and his courageous contributions to the world. While in actually, we were only invited to the City`s planning meetings to rubber stamp a preapproved plan for execution.
SCLC is the organization founded by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We are charged with the heavy responsibility in this world to carry on his humanitarian convictions based upon the principle goals of: Racial Injustice, Economic Injustice and Non-Violence. These two Civil Rights Organizations felt that thirty – years was enough time, and too long for us to be seen and not heard nor taken seriously as stake holders and moral partners in formulating the future direction of our City. Ron Littlepage`s Viewpoint “Time for City Hall to cast a wider net” cited the City`s saga and endemic disparities for not awarding contracts justly and equally to all citizens. “Down and Dirty” contracts will continue in Curry`s administration, if the Citizens do not say “enough is enough”. We the Citizens must demand accountability in the system of granting City Contracts. We also need to insist more over watch by the City Council, City Council Auditing Office, Ethics Office and the Office of the Inspector General.
This article by Ron Littlepage also documented the lack of diversity among the Engineers employed by City Hall. This is a clear case and necessity that speaks to the reality that the Civil Rights struggle is real and alive today inside of the Mayor`s headquarters. Littlepage made a definitive point for those who are concern about making this “One City. One Jacksonville”. For these reasons along, our City desperately need Economic Justice, Equality, Unity and Strength. We are asking concerns citizens of our City to add their voices and join Dr. King`s historic Civil Rights Organization and those from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People now and today in 2017, to speak Truth to Power in this City.
Dr. King said it best in this quote “Change does not roll on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle, and so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can`t ride you unless your back is bent”.
Dr. Juan P. Gray, Board Chair, Jacksonville Chapter, Southern Christian Leadership Conference