"Most Powerful Pages on the Planet"
FEB 21, 2009
Volume 2 - No. 6
Darwin Campbell, Executive Publisher
A Weekly Publication
Disgusting photos like these underscore the need for changes in the racial climate in Paris, Texas and in America.
Outsider Activism Under Attack!!!
Noose, Racist Graffiti Proves Efforts Must Continue to Expose "Ghosts" and Truths About Paris Racism
"Racism is a refuge for the ignorant. It seeks to divide and to destroy. It is the enemy of freedom, and deserves to be met head-on and stamped out."Pierre Berton
PARIS, TEXAS- Recently, Paris resident Vanessa Preston, got up in a U.S. Department of Justice meeting and made a passionate appeal for her town concerned that it is being painted racist by "outsiders".
During that same meeting Preston, who is Black, and other Whites demanded that "outsiders" stay out of their town.
However, If pictures are worth a thousand words, then the activism of outsiders in Paris is sorely needed.
The fascades presented at the U.S. Department of Justice meetings between Blacks and Whites has not even begun to address the real issues contributing to the present undercurrent of racism in Paris and Lamar County.
Those outsiders not welcome include any "outside" news media, Dallas and Fort Worth Community activists, The New Black Panther Party, the Local Organizing Committees and others would have the courage to stand up and carry the torch for truth and change with local activists.
Three of the latest incidents of racism proves that " outsider" activism is needed to expose racism and face it head on to unveil the hidden ghosts of racism that exist.
One report involves intimidation of Blacks using racial epithets and graffiti at one of the top three employers and largest manufacturing plants in Paris and another involved the terrorizing and painting of racial threats and epithets on the home of a Black disabled man.
Black employees at the manufacturing plant have been subjected to racist epithets painted on walls, bathrooms and had to tolerate hangman's nooses and Confederate Flags and other threat and words being said and hung in areas where a predominant number of Black employees work in the plant.
After objections were raised, plant officials ordered the writings be whitewashed and racist symbols be removed and started doing damage control with Black employees.
In another case, Bobby Yates, a Black disabled man woke up to threats and racist graffiti painted on the side of his home and who can forget the failure of the justice system to prosecute the killers of Brandon McClelland as a true "hate crime".
Karl Mitchell, activist and public relations director for Citizens for Racial Equality, is concerned about the cover up going on and the hidden racism that is bubbling up through discussions in Paris. He has launched his own probe in the latest rash of racist behaviors in Paris seeking to end the cover ups and open the way for true dialog and peaceful resolutions.
"Pictures speak louder than words," Mitchell said. "You can read all the statements you want pertaining to racial harmony... Look at these pictures and understand there are real problems in Paris, Texas."
Mitchell's reaction to the tasteless graffiti popping up in workplaces and where Blacks live and congregate is. "I am stunned and hurt and sick that in 2009, we are still dealing with these issues. I thought the historic election of Barak Obama was a turning point in history. It appear is is a turning point, that has brought out more racist acting out and behaviors. We are moving in the wrong direction as race relations appear to be back-peddling."
It is no secret that in troubled areas like Paris, "outsiders" are not welcome. That lack of welcome goes back to the days of Sheriff Bull Connor, Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus and young Alabama Gov. George Wallace when activism was frowned on by the powers of the Old South.
"Well, boys, you've done a good job. You've struck a blow for the White Man. Mississippi can be proud of you. You've let these agitatin' Outsiders know where this state stands. Go home now and forget it. But before you go, I'm looking each one of you in the eye and telling you this: the first man who talks is dead! If anybody who knows anything about this ever opens his mouth to any Outsider about it, then the rest of us are going to kill him just as dead as we killed those three sonsofbitches tonight."
- Neshoba County Deputy Sheriff, Cecil Ray Price.
Price, was a member of the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi, and makes the historic Hall of Shame for the murder of three Civil Right's workers, Andrew Goodman, James Earl Chaney, and Michael Schwerner. Price helped to hatch a plot to murder the three activist boys, who were all members of C.O.R.E, ( Congress Of Racial Equality).
The acting out in Paris demonstrates why activism is important and intervention is needed because Paris appears to be linked to this racist past as though walking arm in arm with the ghosts of Jim Crow racism.
Preliminary investigations demonstrate that the veins of racism runs deeper into the soul and heart of the community because the manufacturing plant is a microcosm of the Paris-Lamar County community because White employees live in the community, go to church in the community, shop in the community and have children in the school system.
"One of my biggest concerns regarding the racist graffiti, noose, and other things found at the plant is the mentality of those who put it there," said Brenda Cherry, community activist and leader of Concerned Citizens for Racial Equality. "Those same people serve on juries, and some go on to have supervisory positions or other positions of authority."
Outsider activists have made a difference in stubborn communities where the bedrock ideals of slavery and racism live under the guise of preserving "Southern Heritage"and traditions. Breaking through these hardened traditions and crossing that bridge to genuine talks and communications is all but impossible without "outsider" participation.
Responding to the appeal made by Preston calling for outsiders to stay in their own towns. Cherry said.
"I'm proud of my children but if I see them doing something wrong, its my responsibility to address it and try to put them back on the right track. If I don't, I'm part of the problem rather than the solution," she said. "Anyone excusing, denying or justifying racism is part of the problem."
According to Cherry, too many want to sweep the problems under the rug to save the reputation of the city and county, but the noose and the racist graffiti displayed at a local plant is not due to illiteracy, drugs, poverty, or absentee fathers. "Its not a figment of our imagination due to our anguish. Its blatant racism."
According to Wikipedia and other state historical documents, "Outsiders" changed the course of history with their undaunted spirit and willingness to care and do something about the plight of others risking life and limb to improve conditions and make a difference. history tells the story of those with the courage to make a difference with activism.
On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks (the "mother of the Civil Rights Movement") refused to give up her seat on a public bus to make room for a white passenger. She was secretary of the Montgomery NAACP chapter and had recently returned from a meeting at the Highlander Center in Tennessee where nonviolent civil disobedience as a strategy had been discussed. Parks was arrested, tried, and convicted for disorderly conduct and violating a local ordinance. After word of this incident reached the black community, 50 African-American leaders gathered and organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott to protest the segregation of blacks and whites on public buses. With the support of most of Montgomery's 50,000 African Americans, the boycott lasted for 381 days until the local ordinance segregating African-Americans and whites on public buses was lifted. Ninety percent of African Americans in Montgomery took part in the boycotts, which reduced bus revenue by 80%. A federal court ordered Montgomery's buses desegregated in November 1956, and the boycott ended in triumph.
Freedom Rides were journeys by Civil Rights activists on interstate buses into the segregated southern United States to test the United States Supreme Court decision Boynton v. Virginia, (1960) 364 U.S. that ended segregation for passengers engaged in inter-state travel. Organized by CORE, the first Freedom Ride of the 1960s left Washington D.C. on May 4, 1961, and was scheduled to arrive in New Orleans on May 17.
During the first and subsequent Freedom Rides, activists traveled through the Deep South to integrate seating patterns and desegregate bus terminals, including restrooms and water fountains. That proved to be a dangerous mission. In Anniston, Alabama, one bus was firebombed, forcing its passengers to flee for their lives. In Birmingham, Alabama, an FBI informant reported that Public Safety Commissioner Eugene "Bull" Connor gave Ku Klux Klan members 15 minutes to attack an incoming group of freedom riders before having police "protect" them. The riders were severely beaten "until it looked like a bulldog had got a hold of them."
Mob violence in Anniston and Birmingham temporarily halted the rides until SNCC activists arrived in Birmingham to resume them. In Montgomery, Alabama a mob charged another bus load of riders, knocking John Lewis unconscious with a crate and smashing Life photographer Don Urbrock in the face with his own camera. A dozen men surrounded Jim Zwerg, a white student from Fisk University, and beat him in the face with a suitcase, knocking out his teeth.
The freedom riders continued their rides into Jackson, Mississippi, where they were arrested for "breaching the peace" by using "white only" facilities. New freedom rides were organized by many different organizations. As riders arrived in Jackson, they were arrested. By the end of summer, more than 300 had been jailed in Mississippi.
The Civil Rights Movement received an infusion of energy with a student sit-in at a Woolworth's store in Greensboro, North Carolina. On February 1, 1960, four students Ezell A. Blair Jr. (now known as Jibreel Khazan), David Richmond, Joseph McNeil, and Franklin McCain from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical College, an all-black college, sat down at the segregated lunch counter to protest Woolworth's policy of excluding African Americans.
These protesters were encouraged to dress professionally, to sit quietly, and to occupy every other stool so that potential white sympathizers could join in. The sit-in soon inspired other sit-ins in Richmond, Virginia; Nashville, Tennessee; and Atlanta, Georgia. As students across the south began to "sit-in" at the lunch counters of a few of their local stores, local authority figures sometimes used brute force to physically escort the demonstrators from the lunch facilities.
The "sit-in" technique was not new— as far back as 1942, the Congress of Racial Equality sponsored sit-ins in Chicago, St. Louis in 1949 and Baltimore in 1952.
In 1960, the technique succeeded in bringing national attention to the movement.
The success of the Greensboro sit-in led to a rash of student campaigns throughout the South. Probably the best organized, most highly disciplined, the most immediately effective of these was in Nashville, Tennessee.
By the end of 1960, the sit-ins had spread to every southern and border state and even to Nevada, Illinois, and Ohio.
Demonstrators focused not only on lunch counters but also on parks, beaches, libraries, theaters, museums, and other public places. Upon being arrested, student demonstrators made "jail-no-bail" pledges, to call attention to their cause and to reverse the cost of protest, thereby saddling their jailers with the financial burden of prison space and food.
SNCC had undertaken an ambitious voter registration program in Selma, Alabama, in 1963, but by 1965 had made little headway in the face of opposition from Selma's sheriff, Jim Clark. After local residents asked the SCLC for assistance, King came to Selma to lead several marches, at which he was arrested along with 250 other demonstrators. The marchers continued to meet violent resistance from police. Jimmie Lee Jackson, a resident of nearby Marion, was killed by police at a later march in February.
On March 7, 1965, Hosea Williams of the SCLC and John Lewis of SNCC led a march of 600 people to walk the 54 miles (87 km) from Selma to the state capital in Montgomery. Only six blocks into the march, however, at the Edmund Pettus Bridge, state troopers and local law enforcement, some mounted on horseback, attacked the peaceful demonstrators with billy clubs, tear gas, rubber tubes wrapped in barbed wire and bull whips. They drove the marchers back into Selma. John Lewis was knocked unconscious and dragged to safety. At least 16 other marchers were hospitalized. Among those gassed and beaten was Amelia Boynton Robinson, who was at the center of civil rights activity at the time.
The national broadcast of the footage of lawmen attacking unresisting marchers seeking the right to vote provoked a national response as had scenes from Birmingham two years earlier. The marchers were able to obtain a court order permitting them to make the march without incident two weeks later.
"Outsiders must be involved because Paris is a place where racism is both systematic and terroristic," said Anthony Bond, community activist and founder of the Irving Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. "Blacks are terrified and that spreads to every aspect of life including the courts, schools, public life and economics. Until racial peace and justice is achieved in Paris, No one will stop us from focusing on Paris."
Outside activism and intervention does make a difference because it forces people to leave their easy chairs and comfort zones and participate in change.
This is our America too. Paris is not a sovereign nation and must comply with the laws of these United States.
Change is what Paris Texas needs and outsiders must be involved to facilitate that change.