Pensacola Holds Rally to Honor Charlottesville

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By Jacqueline Miles

Sunday afternoon community members gathered at the Martin Luther King Plaza to show that not everyone feels or believes the way Charlottesville demonstrated their convictions.

As members of the community gathered at the plaza, Rev. H K Matthews addressed the crowd of approximately 75+ people.  “I was encouraged to see the people who came out and were willing to share their feelings about what happened in Charlottesville.  Charlottesville did not reflect the feelings of all white people and  it was refreshing to see the number of people who turned out to protest the White Nationalist, the KKK and the Neo Nazi were doing in Charlottesville.”  He said.

“However, I feel it was disgraceful that only three African Americans, not including the press, that were there.  It reflects the history of Pensacola during the struggle of civil rights when we were marching for equal rights, guaranteed to us by the constitution,” stated Matthews.  “I believe very strongly the President’s rhetoric during his campaign and after he became president contributed to what happened in Charlottesville.”

Janet Sallis, organizer of the event stated “It’s not enough to be nice and kind.  One must address the ways he benefits from the work of others to their detriment.  Most people would not consider themselves racist and don’t like to think of America as racist.  So, the better question is “Who does this benefit?  Being uncomfortable is just part of the growing pains.  We have to learn to say, “I messed up.  I’m sorry.  I’ll do better.  Then do better!”

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