For Immediate Release
June 1, 2020
Contact: Charlyne Jackson-Fields
President, NAACP Fredericksburg Branch
FREDERICKSBURG, VA –The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has been the premier civil rights organization in the country since 1909, always advancing the cause of equality for all through nonviolent means. The Fredericksburg Branch NAACP has continued to play a pivotal role in the local civil rights movement and current issues of social justice in a nonviolent manner.
Our communities are frustrated and saddened. As our country and local communities struggle with our responses to the shocking tragic murder of George Floyd by police and other actions of brutality against persons of color over the years, we are proud of much of the nation’s peaceful responses and calls to action.
As a local branch of the NAACP, we are reminded of the historical impact of the NAACP’s leadership and its long legacy of civil responsiveness to matters of great inequality. It is this form of response that was and has been at the heart of our nation’s civil rights movement which has guaranteed certain basic inalienable rights to all people. It is the same responsiveness that will continue to ensure the protection of these rights and the reduction of social and economic inequities throughout our country, including those in education, housing, employment, safety, and healthcare.
We take tremendous pride in the work and actions of the Fredericksburg Branch NAACP, other civil rights organizations, and brave local citizens of all races over the years to ensure that the civil rights movement in our City was a civil movement without the violence that other communities have had to endure. Nonviolent responses continue to be the manner which the Fredericksburg Branch deals with current civil rights issues, including active and ongoing dialogue with our elected officials and the members of the police department. They have always welcomed our recommendations and have sought our input.
Although the Fredericksburg Branch was not a sponsor of the marches to support justice for George Floyd, including the march on May 30, 2020, we are pleased with the peaceful protests involving many diverse members of the community. We invite the community to join us in our continued efforts to address social injustices, including ways to further enhance police-community relations to further ensure that our community does not face the brutal actions that many other communities have faced.
We are very disappointed to hear of the fires at the Fredericksburg Police Department. We hope this violent event is not tied to the local protests against police brutality. We do not condone or support violent actions.
As our organization’s national leadership has stated, “This [current situation] is not new. We have seen this before, and we have persevered. Let’s work together to channel our frustration to create the change we seek…We must protest peacefully, demand persistently, and fight politically. But most of all, we must vote in November.”
The Fredericksburg Branch NAACP is very proud that nonviolence responses to social injustices is our philosophy; it is our proud legacy. It is the only way we can continue to tear down the walls of social injustice and social inequities to ensure that future generations of people of all colors will have enhanced social, economic, and political power.