UPDATE (WKRG) — Faith in Action Alabama met at the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office to protest the ‘Thug Thursday’ Facebook posts.
They said the use of the Christmas tree to promote a “thug” narrative was in poor taste and diminished its symbolism.
An item that was supposed to invoke joy and hope was turned into something on the opposite end of that spectrum.
MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — UPDATE 9:41 PM: WKRG News 5 spoke with the Faith in Action AL Mobile Hub Chairman Reverend Marvin Lue Jr. about the planned protest. He said, “You don’t have to say the N word anymore. There are other words that are synonyms that trigger in people of color’s mind, people of low income’s mind, people that are not part of the authority that I’m talking to you. I’m setting you in your place.”
He told WKRG reporters, Faith in Action Alabama planned the protest after seeing the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook post of a Christmas tree with mugshots on it.
Reverend Lue said, “If Thursday is ‘thug Thursday’ then let’s show them some thugs. Let’s show them some individuals that could have easily been on that Christmas tree.”
He spoke with the sheriff’s office on Wedensday afternoon. He said they deem ‘thug Thrusday’ as a tool for information, and said no one from MCSO gave an apology.
WKRG News 5 contacted the Mobile County Sheriff’s Ofice. A spokesperson said the sheriff’s office was never told of plans for a protest.
Reverend Lue said, “When law enforcement has the perception of individuals as thugs. Where does the hope for justice stand in? Where does the hope for grace come in? Where does the hope for equality come in?”
Reverend Lue says it’s ironic seeing the pictures during the Christmas season knowing biblical figures could’ve once made it on that tree. He said,
“Paul and Peter could’ve been on those photos and the one we claim to serve, Jesus the Christ, could’ve been on those photos because society perceived them to be thugs… If they were able to change lives, if they were able to transform, if they were able to do greater works, what makes us think that the 33 individuals that were on that tree cannot do the same.”
Faith in Action Alabama is planning a protest in front of the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office Thursday over the office’s use of “Thug Thursday” phrasing in Facebook posts.
Below is a release from the organization:
On Thursday, Dec. 10 at noon, community and faith leaders with Faith in Action federation Faith in Action Alabama will hold a public action in front of the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office to discuss the problematic nature of the Sheriff’s Office decision to create and use the slogan “Thug Thursday” in their weekly messaging using mugshots of wanted criminals. Recently, the sheriff’s office came under fire for posting a photo of a holiday tree holding mugshots of criminals, which they referred to as ‘thugshots.’ The office has now said they are now calling the campaign ‘Warrant Wednesday’ amidst public outcry. The action will be held at the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office, 510 S Royal St., Mobile.
In an online post, FIAAL said, “To celebrate so crassly the arrest of those who may have allegedly transgressed against society but still are members of society paints a picture “once a criminal always a criminal” and traffics in racist tropes. This statement does not allow for our community to grow as one. An unfortunate segment of our society is being denigrated to promote the success of those called to serve. During this season that celebrates the birth of liberation the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office has chosen to make a mockery of mass incarceration and belittle the humanity of incarcerated individuals.”
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