County residents gather on square for demonstration

Posted 6/16/20

An estimated 20-25 individuals sought to make their voices heard on the Madisonville County Courthouse square during the evening of June 9 in light of protests throughout the country in response to the killing of an African American man in police custody named George Floyd in Minneapolis May 25.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in

County residents gather on square for demonstration

Posted

An estimated 20-25 individuals sought to make their voices heard on the Madisonville County Courthouse square during the evening of June 9 in light of protests throughout the country in response to the killing of an African American man in police custody named George Floyd in Minneapolis May 25.

The local demonstration, which featured a number of signs held by the individuals, took place along the sidewalk paralleling Highway 21 across from the courthouse.

While much controversy has surrounded the aftermath of Floyd’s murder, including civil unrest in major American cities and clashes with law enforcement officials and certain groups unassociated with peaceful protests, those demonstrating on the square simply wished to be heard by their fellow citizens in the midst of national outcry.

“We are gathering as a group, as citizens, who want change,” said Terri Davis, who attended the demonstration. “You can label it a protest, but when you say that, people think you are against something.

“Well, we are against the way it used to be. We are trying to get change and bring the community together.”

The demonstration was organized by Midway resident Rikki Roundtree on Facebook. Davis, as a member of the older generation, stated she was pleased to see younger individuals looking to make their voices heard and was happy to give her support in the effort.

“Have the courage to stand up and say it when something is right or wrong,” Davis said. “It does not make it black or white. If you can get to that point where you look past race, and say this is right or wrong, that is what we are here for.

“I am not faulting you or saying you are to blame for everything black people have went through before, but at least be able to stand and say I agree this is wrong. Just acknowledge that.”

When asked if they felt there was a need for change at the local level, Roundtree and Davis highlighted lack of representation in county government as well as the Madisonville CISD school board.

“Your governing body is supposed to represent you,” Davis said. “In the city council, we are doing better because we have somebody who looks like us who can stand and speak for us. If you look at the school board, and I have run several times, there is nobody on that body who looks like me.”

In regard to lack of representation on the school board and in county government, Davis referenced the need for African American citizens to make their voices heard at the polls to orchestrate the kind of change they wish to see in the community.

“If our black people would get out and vote, we would not have a problem,” said Davis. “We proved that with city council. But when it comes to the county, we just take it for granted. Something that our forefathers fought and died for is being taken for granted. People do not care about stuff like that until it directly impacts them.”

“Just going through life and the constant struggle,” Roundtree said when asked what inspired her to organize the event. “I have been turned down jobs due to the color of my skin, and I just wanted to be a part of that change. I guess I was inspired by my life and other people that are going through the same thing and just want change.

“I should not have to go through the same thing my mom went through.”

Both Roundtree and Davis agreed the national movements have already sparked change across the country. However, Davis stated the biggest issue to solve is one of humanity rather than one of law enforcement.

“The wound has been reopened,” said Davis. “You can get mad at police officers for killing blacks, but we kill blacks, too. Blacks kill blacks. So, it is more of a humanity problem.

“We need to learn to love each other regardless of the color of our skin and respect on another. Until that happens, it is not going to change.”

Comments