Our First Amendment Prevails
By John Meng, Publisher/Editor In the past two weeks, many Americans in Texas and across the nation have exercised their First Amendment right to speak out against injustice in the case of George Floyd, a black 46-year-old Minneapolis man who was killed by a white police officer while in police custody.
And, the big news from this weekend was that the Minneapolis city council has pledged to disband the police department. Hmmm....a major metropolitan area of half a million people without a police department to enforce the law. Let’s see how that works out for them.
More disturbing, we’ve also seen many of those protests devolve into mass riots, looting and an unwanton destruction of private property. Small businesses smashed and looted. Buildings and churches burned. More than $55 million in damage in Minnesota alone. Anarchists and thugs rule the streets while liberal mayors and governors fiddle while their cities burn. Countless people assaulted and 11 innocent people murdered.
Freedom of speech is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or a community to articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship, or legal sanction. It’s a freedom protected by the First Amendment in the United States Bill of Rights.
However, it doesn’t give anyone the right to burn cars, to loot businesses, to destroy property nor to conduct acts of terrorism and murder.
Yet, what we saw last week on the Jackson County Courthouse lawn was a prime example of our First Amendment.
Approximately 60 people gathered in downtown Edna to protest George Floyd’s murder and to speak out against injustice. They held signs. They chanted. They sang ‘Amazing Grace.’
And, even though I was there to cover the event as a objective reporter, when they knelt and prayed, I prayed too.
The Jackson County protest was peaceful. The demonstrators’ message was seen and heard by the community. In fact, many of the passersby honked their horns in support of their message.
The event was attended by people from a wide variety of ethic and cultural backgrounds, as well as the City of Edna major and city council members. In my opinion, the protest in Jackson County last week was more than a demonstration of a few dozen people speaking out against injustice. It was a county-wide show of solidarity and unity. I’m proud of Jackson County. We demonstrated what the Founding Fathers envisioned for peaceful protests.
Stay Jackson County Strong!