MESSIAH JONES: First I’d like to thank everyone that spoke before me so eloquently. I’d like to thank you for allowing me to speak.
My heart is aching. My heart is aching. My body is trembling right now. I’ve lived in this city. I grew up in this city. I’ve seen this city at, I would say its greatest before the extreme racist, garbage came.
When Black people had businesses. Black men owned businesses. Black men and women had things they could call their own here in Troy. They were inclusive in things. That time has long passed. Long passed
My heart just aches for not only Troy, but for America. Me and my people have been lost from a home for over 400 years here in America. And we still can’t be validated. We can’t be looked at as equals.
We’re looked at as less than the dogs of the field. You actually questioned and charged the police officer for running over a damned groundhog. But you allowed a police officer to murder a Black man and walk away free. You aid them in the murder.
You allow another police officer to attempt to murder my nephew. And after he attempts to take his life, he rides in the ambulance with him as somehow—what to comfort him along the way?—or, to plant what more fear in him. And then the governor puts forth this year this action to somehow to try to mend things in the cities across America, because he sees where we’re at.
I look at this 15 point report. I feel like choking some damn body. I feel like choking somebody. Literally. I feel angry. I feel angry. I feel like I’ve wasted a lot of time. As well as others’. Truth can never be wasted. Truth has to be given away just like power. Just like power.
And there’ll be more that will come after us when we’re dead and gone. There’ll be more after us. We will not stand by and allow you to treat us as less than animals. And think we’re supposed to put up with it.
As I’m speaking, I am trembling. To keep from saying the wrong thing to you. I still have compassion for you when you have none for me.
I still think about your feelings when you don’t care about mine. That’s what hurts me the most.
In spite of all this, I still have love for you. And you have none for me or my people.
I told my brother KP. I said you’re not siding with the enemy, but you’re going to hear the same things they’ve been saying and then they’ll come back and prove me right. I know he’s saying that to himself, now, “my brother was right again.”
I hate to be right. I want to be wrong. I was hoping that you would do the right thing this time.
I was hoping that you make some progressive changes to start to heal this city. I was hoping you would come back and say: Troy 4 Black Lives, here goes the community center that you wanted, to start a healing center. This is what the governor was talking about in his actions.
Not some stupid ass report that you put out for us to just—what, eat? Suck it down? My wife says it ain’t no damn band-aid. It’s definitely an insult.
You won’t get away with it. We won’t stand for it. We brought 11,000 people to this city together.
Not one person, not Justice For Dahmeek or Troy 4 Black Lives, but it was all the groups together that brought 11,000 people to this city. Maybe we need to bring 22,000 people, 30,000 people to this city for you to take notice that we will not take this sitting down.
Voting. Voting. Voting.
CARMELLA MANTELLO: Messiah, you have about a minute, okay? Thank you.
MESSIAH JONES: Well, I have a minute. Well, I think I’ve said more than enough, but we will not take this sitting down. I believe that we’re more charged than we’ve ever been. And being that you’ve stabbed all those individuals in the back, with your rhetoric you kept us binding like we should. You’ve brought us closer together.
You’ve made us stronger. You made us stronger, so together we will bring you down. Together, we will end this white supremacy right here in Troy. Together, we will do it, together. Not separately, but together.
So you look forward to seeing our faces. You look forward to hearing this big mouth of mine, cause I ain’t going no damn where. More importantly, look forward to us voting everybody that we can the hell out.