by Pastor Dr. Nahshon Nicks
First, I want to say thank you for this opportunity to share what's in my heart. I am unapologetically Black. I love the skin that God placed me in. I believe the greatest commandment is to love God and second unto it is to love my neighbor as I love myself.
I have Black Love, Brown Love, Yellow Love, White Love and Blue Love. I love our police officers that uphold the badge with dignity and integrity.
Welcome to the Bold New City of the South or should I say when it comes to unsolved murders welcome to Old Cold Case city of the South. A few years back one of my students asked me, “Pastor Nicks are we fighting for equality or equity?” My response, “Keyante we are fighting for both”. We had a River City Renaissance Plan, A Better Jacksonville Plan, but when they consolidated the County and the City it became a shark tank; every side of town is economically booming except the Northbank.
We are in a novel pandemic with a chronic social disorder:
● When COVID testing came to the Black Community in Kooker Park, a large percentage were faulty and defected.
● In our city's HUD properties not only do we want affordable housing but livable housing. If the owners wouldn't live in it, then they shouldn’t get funding for our people to be their tenants.
● Cold cases, consisting of nearly 75% of the homicides and murders in our city, go unsolved.
● Opioid Overdoses trending over 300 for the last 3 reported years
● Out of school suspension rates include about 70% African American students. There is a mighty strong correlation between the percentage of black students exiting public schools and entering the department of Juvenile Justice.
● In our schools, we don't need more resource officers, what we need is more officers with resources.
● In the Northwest Quadrant, Food Deserts are prevalent on Kings Rd, Soutel, Mixon Town, & the Eastside.
● Black folks in this city have the highest charges of resisting without violence.
● African Americans have higher bonds set for the same offense as our white counterparts.
We invest in shot spotters, cure violence, and dash cams as the bare minimum, but with no government transparency, our city's violence will not cease.
No reinvestment, No revitalization
In the words of the prophet James Brown. "I don't want nobody to give me nothing just open up the door and I'll get it myself."
What do I expect from a peaceful demonstration? Access to capital with no hesitation.
● New business set asides specifically for Black Contractors,
● More funding for out of school & after school programs in predominantly Black underserved communities,
● Infrastructure upgrades in black communities with black businesses
● African Americans with the same degree and experience in our country as their White counterparts make 20 to 30 percent less in earned income.
● We want our city and state government entities to reflect the percentage of the population in this city which is north of 30 percent with a minimum matching percentage of the positions and Promotions.
● The best way to solve a crime is to prevent one. Community policing in black communities should look like the people in the community and as a police officer if you don't feel safe in our communities, we don't feel safe with you in it. It does not take 5 vehicles and 10 police Officers for a routine traffic stop.
● As far as policing, sergeants, lieutenants, commanders, and chiefs in JSO should reflect their percentage of the population that they serve.
● Removal of all Confederate Statues they should be auctioned off to the highest bidder and the funds should be reinvested in the Black Communities to make our situations better.
We are not asking our city leaders and elected officials to do the Black thing or the White thing, but we do need you to do the right thing. You can't lead the people if you don't love the people.
Divided we are defeated and United we prevail.