Scottsboro to Display Unity Amid National Unrest

Scottsboro to Display Unity Amid National Unrest

By Dylan Smith, Managing Editor •

SCOTTSBORO, Ala. — Peaceful demonstrations, as well as violent riots, have ensued nationwide due to the unwarranted death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed at the hands of a white police officer.

Scottsboro resident Anthony McCamey planned to practice his constitutional right to peaceful assembly by organizing a protest at the Jackson County Courthouse. However, McCamey halted the planned demonstration after being contacted by out of state agitators who were looking to incite violence. 

As responsible protesters have taken to the streets to call for reform, violent extremists have infiltrated public demonstrations and terrorized otherwise peaceful communities. Rioting, looting, and arson has permeated throughout the nation’s cities. 

McCamey would not see his city torn apart.

“I started getting messages saying people had made a private Facebook page saying they were going to vandalize and riot,” explained McCamey. “They were saying people from out of town were going to burn down the Scottsboro Boys Museum, the courthouse and color code.”

“I said ‘I’m not having any of this.’ There were too many people talking negativity, we wanted something peaceful.”

Upon seeing McCamey on social media defending his city, the Mountain Lakes Chamber of Commerce reached out to thank him.

“My boss called saying some people came by my work looking for me,” said McCamey. “It was the Chamber of Commerce. They said they had been following my story and wanted to meet with me.” 

The chamber thanked him for canceling the protest due to outside threats and decided to hold a meeting in his honor. Community leadership met with McCamey to express their gratitude.

“The Sheriff, county and city police officers, the Senator, and the City Council were there, it was a big turnout – they thanked me.”

McCamey expressed his desire to organize an event to display racial solidarity. 

“The Sheriff said ‘We’re going to back you with what you want to do.’ Sheriff Phillips said he would make sure there weren’t any out of towners coming in.”

McCamey continues, “There were pastors from the churches, from Paint rock to Pisgah. It was mentioned that we should do a prayer walk.”

McCamey says the prayer march will be held in the name of unity to denounce all forms of racism. 

“We will march from the Scottsboro Boys Museum to the courthouse and hold a prayer vigil. Businesses on the square said they will support us and provide water.”

For a community that decades ago played witness to its share of iniquity, the moment is set to be a historic display of a unified Scottsboro.

Nearly ninety years ago, the well-documented case of the Scottsboro Boys plunged the city into the national spotlight. The case surrounds nine young black men who were persecuted after a white woman falsely accused the men of rape. 

For McCamey, who is married to a white woman and has a bi-racial daughter, more is needed to stamp out racism in its entirety. 

“Most of the time when my family goes out, everyone treats us fine. Sometimes though, we get people who will look at us. It’s still around but not as bad as it was.”

He explained the need for a new generation to see cohesiveness amongst people of all races. 

McCamey concludes, “Children have it the hardest. People can come out and bring their children to see that people can get along and work together.”

An outpouring of support has been bestowed upon Anthony McCamey for his principled stand. His calls for unity have inspired a community to unite in solidarity under the banner of justice to proclaim the eternal truth that all men are created equal.