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NAACP members urged to stand for what is right

Local NAACP members were urged to "stand for what is right and fair, whatever the cost" at Saturday's Freedom Fund Banquet.

Clara Faulkner, a community and labor activist who is a member of the Forest Hill, Texas, City Council, told the crowd in the Patterson Community Center she was taught that by her grandmother and it still points the way forward.

"Have we forgotten those before us who fought the fight, who were tireless and relentless ... ?"

Faulkner said contemporary events  racially motivated shootings, killing of unarmed blacks by police and attacks on police officers such as in Dallas and Baton Rouge  have moved the nation from a state of unrest to despair. Grieving families ask "When is the violence going to end?" she said.

All communities want to be safe, for their children and old people to be able to play and walk without fear of crime, she said, but they also want police to apply the law equally and treat everyone with respect. Every community needs good police officers, just as it needs good teachers and doctors and parents.

Love, not hate, is the appropriate response to the despair, she said, quoting Martin Luther King Jr. that "Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that."

"We need to get up ... and make 'love' an action word," she said.

The banquet's theme was "Our Lives Matter, Our Votes Count," and Faulkner encouraged the audience not only to vote, but also to register voters and make sure they understand the voting process and how to cast a ballot and to make sure former felons follow the process to have their right to vote reinstated.

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