Lufkin civil rights leader addresses unrest in Ferguson

Lufkin civil rights leader addresses unrest in Ferguson

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Reaction from the Ferguson decision has been pouring in from every corner of the country. And back here at home, we reached out to prominent Lufkin civil rights activist Rev. Bettie Kennedy for her reaction.

She told KTRE the concerns Ferguson citizens are having right now reflect a national problem that's deep and long-standing

Reverend Bettie Kennedy is a long-time civil rights activist and Lufkin native. Over the years she has seen many situations that have sparked outrage and violence like what's happening right now in Ferguson, Missouri but says the problem now is the same as it's always been.

"I thought laws would protect our people but I'm finding that we do not have laws that protect us. It appears the hatred is so deep that it's difficult to even get rid of the hatred," Kennedy said.

Kennedy said she is very hurt by the death of Michael Brown.

"I am very disappointed. Very hurt," Kennedy said. "I do think that there should have been something considered about that life of that child that was murdered. The many shots that went through his body. I really think that we can do better than that."

However, Kennedy said violence and destruction is not the answer.

"I think there should be a way that we can communicate," Kennedy said. "That we can express our stance without hatred and without taking lives and without damaging material things, cars and building and things and lives. I think we should be able to be civil and sit and talk, get laws passed that's going to protect people of our nation."

Kennedy said she feels the nation is taking a step backwards instead of making progress with race relations.

"I am really sympathetic with the concerns of people that live in that particular area because they reflect I think our whole nation," Kennedy said.

Kennedy said the best way to make change in Ferguson and across the country is for people to sit down, talk, and try to get new laws passed.

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