Meet the Branch President
The Greater Texarkana Branch of the NAACP, like so many others witnessed the horrific video murder of George Floyd by strangulation. Second degree charges are pending against a 19-year veteran police officer of the Minneapolis Police Department while three other officers are charged with aiding and abetting a murder. To say the least, we are appalled by this murder. Although, we believe that there are respectable officers in every city who have sworn to serve and protect. However, as we witnessed in Minneapolis, there are just not enough who are willing to stop the unscrupulous ones. If just one of the other three officers had spoken up and/or acted, Mr. Floyd’s life could have been spared.
This is not the first time our country has witness police brutality and the killing of an unarmed African American man at the hands of White police officers. With each of these deaths there have been protests and some would even say rioting. However, these incidents seem to be only a temporary fix and the problem went away, until the next time. This time the message with the George Floyd murder appears to be different. Perhaps, this time, it might be enough to bring changes and reform. We all hope it is the straw that has broken the camel’s back. Injustices are starring us in the face daily.
Over the past several nights, we have seen much of America, Black, White, Asian, Hispanic and people of all ethnicities and ages united to let the world know these types of injustices exist right in our faces and communities; on an all too frequent basis. Other countries are joining the United States in protesting this act of murder. It does not look like the protesting and the uproar is going away any time soon, and we believe it is necessary to get the attention of policy makers. Even the fear of COVID-19 has not stopped people from protesting. Sadly, our federal government has been negligent in understating or turning a blind eye to the pain and horror people are experiencing.
The NAACP encourages peaceful protest and commend those who have organized and participated in peaceful protests around the world, as well as in Texarkana. Protesting and or demonstrating is your constitutional rights. Raising your signs and voices will hopefully spur our government to end police brutality and the senseless killing of African Americans and people of color in our country. Let me be clear, the NAACP and our Branch does not condone violence, destruction of businesses and property nor looting. When this happens, the focus of why we are protesting is overshadowed. I understand anger and sadness as a result to injustice. As an African American man, father, grandfather, and uncle, I truly understand. We grieve with the Floyd family. We realize this could be any African American man in the United States. Please take steps to protect yourself as you march, because the COVID-19 pandemic is still prevalent.
One of our focuses as we protest and remember Mr. Floyd should be registering to vote and voting in November. We focus a lot on the presidential election and candidate, but we must also focus and concentrate on who will best represent us in local, city and state government. We must vote in every election, not just the presidential election. We have too much at stake not to vote. We must hold all our elected officials accountable.
The local Greater Texarkana Branch of the NAACP will continue to work with the city, police and sheriff departments, judges, other elected officials, and the community to ensure justice for all citizens. We believe “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Robert A. Jones
President, Greater Texarkana Branch