Two protests against racial injustice took place on Saturday in Gulfport
While nationwide protests continue, so do protests in our own community.
Protesters and police marched together from Jones Park to the Gulfport Police Department Saturday morning, unifying against hate, violence, racism, and discrimination. All of which Minister Greg Whitfield reminds the crowd are what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. looked to eradicate years ago. “But the dream he had 57 years ago has not yet been fulfilled. There is still work that we have to do in our communities.”
While Whitfield admits there’s still work to be done, he suggests a way everyone can help. “And as long as you vote and we put the right steps into perspective, we put the right laws into place. Do it at the polls. Because your voice, it matters.”
Later Saturday, protesters again gathered at Jones Park, this time giving other community members a chance to speak out. Hancock County NAACP President Greg Barabino said, “I want y’all to know one thing. This is very, very beautiful that we came out here. We’re protesting. We’re getting our voices heard. But after this we’ve got to come up with a strategy. Don’t let this be the last time we come together.”
Coming together being a main concern for local resident Jon White. “I really don’t want this to be a divisive thing between the whole country. I’ve seen things like when people say black lives matter, all lives matter, but that’s not the thing about it. It’s just, we’re focusing on this particular problem right now. We don’t want to divide anything. All lives of course do matter, but we’re just focusing on one problem at a time. And as soon as we’re done with this, we’re going to come for those kids in chains in the cages on the Mexican border.”
At the end of the day both protests had one message. Ocean Springs resident Patrick Kimball said, “Basically, we need to treat people the same, no matter who they are or where they came from.”