WILBERFORCE — Dr. Jack Thomas hasn’t officially taken over as Central State University president yet, but he’s ready to be an area leader in the fight against racism.
In a Twitter post, Thomas — who takes over for Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond Wednesday, July 1 — shared his dismay over the “needless death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.”
“No man, woman or child should live in fear of police in our great nation,” Thomas said. “Mr. Floyd’s senseless death demonstrates that some people sworn to protect and serve continue to take the lives of black men, black women and black children under the pretense of law enforcement. These callous and unwarranted killings must stop. Until they do, no American should sit idly by while they continue.”
Floyd’s death has sparked many protests and demonstrations in the Dayton area, including Beavercreek, Fairborn, Bellbrook and Xenia. Protesters have been at the Greene County Courthouse at least twice, holding up signs calling for social justice and an end to the killing of black men and women.
They have been mostly peaceful but Thomas said that “the fringe violence (Floyd’s death) has spawned across the country under the guise of peaceful protests” also weighs heavily upon him.
“Our actions should not be reactive and random, but rather, like our great Civil Rights Leaders of the 1960s movement, our actions should be strategically planned, coordinated and executed to impact CHANGE,” Thomas Tweeted.
He called for Americans to act when they see injustice “big or small in a grocery store, at our workplace, or even on the street.”
“In America, it is not enough to just say that we stand for the guiding principals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness without concern for gender, race or religion,” Thomas said. “We must actively like these principals every day.”
Thomas said citizens must also speak out to elected officials.
“We must let our leaders know, and those legally endowed with the power of life and death know, that this behavior is reprehensible, unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” Thomas said. “One of our greatest powers is the right to vote. It goes beyond acknowledgement and includes registering to vote, getting friends and relatives registered, and making sure that citizens are not denied their constitutional right to vote.”
Thomas said as he prepares to begin his journey as president of CSU, he stands “ready to work with any and all from our campus and the broader community to make sure our nation is safe for everyone, and that every citizen is empowered to make the changes needed to keep America the shining beacon of hope for freedom-loving people all over the world.”
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.