By: Tony McCray
Minister Rodney Jones, the newly elected NAACP Pensacola Branch President, has launched a new radio show on Sunday evenings at 6:00 pm on WRNE 980 AM/106.9 FM Radio. Minister Jones and many African-American residents feel that racism is more a factor in Pensacola and Escambia County than is publically reported. In an interview with the Voice, Minister Jones commented that, “Racism in Escambia County is the elephant in the room in many actions taken by persons in power. Particularly as we compare our community to other areas in the country such as in Portland, Oregon where a 35-year-old white supremacist with a criminal record was arrested in connection with the stabbing deaths of two men who intervened when he began to hurl anti-Muslim epithets at two Muslim women”!
The story Minister Jones was referring to was that of Jeremy Joseph Christian of North Portland who was jailed early last Saturday on charges of aggravated murder, attempted murder, intimidation in the second degree and felony possession of a restricted weapon. He is being held without bail, and could face additional charges, police said. The incident occurred on the Metropolitan Area Express light-rail line, known as MAX, during rush hour. The two men who were killed appear to have stepped in to protect the women from racial slurs.
Minister Jones went on to comment, “There seems to be institutions and agencies that perpetuate a ‘good ole boy’ network way of thinking that discriminates against people of color. In business they block opportunities for people of color, in agencies of change this systemic issue hinders progress for people of color because they are made to go through more bureaucratic red tape than any other group”.
The NAACP President wants to utilize the radio show as an effort to bring out comments from others that have similar experiences. He further stated that, “The thing that has to be pointed out to those who walk around with blinders on and those who say they don’t see color as an issue that racism is alive and well in Pensacola, Escambia County, and the nation as a whole”! He went on to make the observation that since Trump has become President, people seem to be more brash and brazen with their expression of their true feelings about people of color.