The TJ Reddick Bar Association will continue to fight for equal rights and fair treatment among lawyers and citizens in the Black community. Too often the Black community is reminded of the harsh realities of living life as a Black person in America. This was evident after the unjustified deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. The doctrine of “separate but equal” ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson was ultimately overturned in Brown v. Board of Education. Thurgood Marshall, chief counsel for the NAACP, argued the case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. However, many white Americans continued to use clever methods to discriminate against Black Americans during the Jim Crow era restricting the civil rights and liberties of Black Americans.
We cannot be afraid to say Black Lives Matter at the risk of insulting others. Yes, all lives matter but not all lives are treated equal in the justice system. It is a sad day, but a reality, when a parent has to advise their son that when stopped by the police you are automatically perceived as a threat; hence, do not talk or make any sudden movements because you may get shot. We as Americans must remind society that Black lives are as valuable as any other life. The true value of life must be determined by the character of a person and not their skin color.
The unjustified killing of Black men is no more acceptable than the merciless killing of sworn law enforcement officers. With emotions running high we encourage everyone to follow the law. We must fight for injustice everywhere and anywhere. On August 30th get out and vote. If you want police to be held accountable, then vote for a State Attorney that will protect your community as well as they protect their own. There are numerous judicial races on the ballot. There are a few judicial candidates of color you need to research: Judge Evans, Alfreda Co-ward, Haccord Curry, Ian Richards and Florence Barner. Vote for whomever you choose but vote.
Our Bar Association will continue to focus on the needs of our immediate community; however, we would be derelict in our responsibilities if we don’t acknowledge our broad community during these times. We all mourn for the friends and families of the police officers whose lives were lost. We mourn for the veteran who may have suffered from PTSD. Those who choose to pick up this cross must be ready to bear it in good and bad times. Thus don’t do it for show or self-gain but do it because it is the right thing to do. Get out in the community, take action and be the change we seek.