A group of about 20 leaders of the Savannah Faith Community met at First Bryan Baptist Church to discuss the handling of a video by Savannah Arts Academy Students, who were also volunteers in the election campaign of Eddie DeLoach. DeLoach is seeking to replace Mayor Edna Jackson, Savannah’s First Female African American Mayor.
The disturbing video was being circulated on social media on Saturday, October 17, 2015. It showed six white Savannah Arts Academy students with a caption at the bottom of the screen that read, “Greetings from the cult.” A threatening voice on the video said, “Sacrifice it,” followed by “Burn in hell, Edna! Burn.”
One of the boys was holding a can of lighter fluid and the video showed an “Edna Jackson for Mayor” campaign sign burning. The caption then read, “RIP to Edna Jackson.” RIP is the acronym for Rest In Peace.
Many believe the video constituted a possible death threat being issued by the DeLoach supporters, as well as conclusive evidence of several individuals vandalizing personal property.
After a week of no action by the police or public school administrators, some of the leaders wondered what would have happened if six Black students had been seen threatening the life a white public offi- cial, or burning a campaign sign of a white candidate.
The public statement issued by the Faith leaders, and read by Rev. Aaron James, Sr. of First Bryan, asked the community to “Consider the types of heinous crimes that are being committed in and around our country, from shootings on college campuses to the shootings in movie theaters and malls. It sparks fear in the hearts of some to view this video …to see the words RIP to Edna Jackson.” The statement from the Faith Leaders continued. “It causes one to wonder what will happen next.”
The leaders pledged to not let the incident be “swept under the rug”, but also urged the citizens to go to the polls and vote…according to the record…how we want the future to be shaped and who we want to help shape that future.”
The video reminded the leaders of the threatening acts of the Klu Klux Klan and the church burnings that are taking place, even today. They were infuriated by the incident, but just as incensed by the attitude of the leadership of the public schools and their efforts to dismiss this as an innocent prank.
Please read the entire statement by the leaders of Savannah’s Faith Community in next week’s edition of The Savannah Tribune.