Jackson needs to be ready for challenges

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 19, 2005

“There’s still service to be done,” Sam Walker told marchers as they honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Monday at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

It’s a message we should all take to heart.

This week was a time to look to the future and honor the past in Selma, Dallas County and the Black Belt.

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The day before

the holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., newly elected District Attorney Michael Jackson was sworn into office.

“This is history,” Congressman Artur Davis said.

It is hard to believe that we are still making so many firsts as the calendar

turns to the year 2005, but

when he was sworn in on Sunday, Jackson became the first black District Attorney in the State of Alabama.

It is quite an achievement for Jackson personally and professionally.

Now, the hard part begins.

The task in front of Jackson will be long and arduous.

He will work in an area battling systemic crime issues.

He takes over a caseload that will include more murder trials than some DA’s will see in a lifetime.

He must help stem the tide of drug use, domestic violence and gang violence that made too many headlines in 2004.

It would be a tall order for a team three times larger than Jackson’s will be.

Jackson’s election was a milestone in the State of Alabama.

It is good enough to earn him a place in history.

But, as Jackson himself knows, it’s not enough.

Jackson made history by winning the office, however, his legacy will be built on how well he performs now that he has it.

It is not enough that Jackson became the first black man elected as an Alabama

District Attorney.

As Walker said, there is still service to be done. We need

Jackson to be successful if our community is going to prosper. We need Jackson to be in the lead as his office helps to stem the tide of crime.

We should all pledge to aid Jackson – and law enforcement in general – in any way we can.

Maybe the day will come when Selma doesn’t have to continue to make headlines breaking racial barriers.

Maybe the day will come when there aren’t any more barriers to break.

Until then, there’s still service to be done.