In the timeless struggle for civil and human rights, there has never been an instance where justice-seekers were not met with opposition. Resistance is to be expected. The NAACP's 106-year history clearly demonstrates that when a determined coalition of people are pursuing a movement to achieve civil rights, especially for the most denigrated and marginalized among us, it makes some people uncomfortable. It compels them to commit violent acts, and therecent bombing at our Colorado Springs office is a distressing reminder.
The NAACP is an organization made up of thousands full-time staff and volunteers. They are in my thoughts and prayers every single day and their safety is my number one priority.
Still, we know that advocating for the improvement of communities, mobilizing voters, holding lawmakers and law enforcement officials accountable and addressing health, education and economic disparities is dangerous work. The NAACP has been the target of eight bombings in the years that followed 1965, three of which occurred in 1993. But, our work is also necessary work, and I am encouraged by the brave individuals across the country that joins our ranks everyday to advance the cause of justice.
Whenever threatened, the NAACP doubles down for justice. That's who we are. When lynchings ran rampant in the South, the NAACP only intensified our efforts to asphyxiate that style of vigilante justice. When marchers in Selma were beaten on the Edmond Pettus Bridge in Montgomery, they pressed onward. And when violent agitations confronted and dozens of other brave men and women while walking through a hostile town in Missouri during the NAACP's Journey for Justice: Ferguson to Jefferson City March last month, we kept marching.
Dr. King once said,
Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.
One cannot truly impact the world from a safe distance, and we have never been afraid to take our position on the frontline. Our team will continue to work on the issues in the communities that need our help the most.
We will continue to fight for justice for Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and the other countless men and women who lost their lives to police violence and we will continue demand federal, state and local legislators to pass stronger reform around racial profiling, police accountability and excessive force in Missouri and across the country.
Just like a tree planted firmly by the water, no matter which way or how strong the wind blows, we will not be moved.