The Alabama Moderate

Painting the Red State Purple.

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A Good Old Fashioned Lynching

Posted by ALmod on September 11, 2007

That’s what we need. No trial. No investigation as to what happened. We should take the word of the accuser from here on out, string up the suspect, and be done with it.

Okay, I’m being cynical. But when you listen to some people, you’d think that was what they were suggesting.

Leave it alone, I said. Just a couple more weeks, and you’ll have time to keep up this blog properly, I said. Don’t write about it, I said. But when I hear the following quote spoken barely 44 years after Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, I can’t leave it alone anymore. Consider what blacks were facing when that speech was given and then consider the following excerpt from the Birmingham News:

” Webb acknowledged a socio-cultural clash between blacks and outsiders – whether whites, Asians or others – who establish businesses in black communities and who blacks feel mistreat them or take advantage of them.

“…’Not if he leaves but when he’s gone, I’m sure that a very reputable black business can come in here and accommodate this neighborhood properly,’ she said.”

44 years since Dr. King dreamed of all races joining together in harmony, and we’ve not moved an inch. What’s more, the very people that fought so hard for inclusion is now fighting hard for exclusion– in the Birmingham area, no less. 44 years, and instead of equality and harmony, we’re fighting for exclusiveness. Has our black community learned nothing?

The comments from Ms. Webb come on the heals of an alleged attack by a convenience store owner on a customer. The (black) community leaders say he has a history of abusing his customers, but the police records associated with the store tell a very different story. There are police records, oh yes, but the records show that the owner has been the victim of repeated violence and crime associated with his store. In a community that I’ve often criticized for lack of police protection, it’s not a surprise if the owner felt he had to defend his store. When one woman was suspected of stealing a bag of ice, it’s not a surprise that punches were thrown.

Both admit that each hit the other. The question is… Who threw the first punch? It’s her word against his. According to the customer, the owner asked her to come back inside and then hit her. According to the owner, the woman attacked him first, and then he struck back to protect himself. Which is the more plausible scenario? If a store owner already has the customer agreeing to come inside and pay, why would he suddenly attack her? However, is it plausible that the woman got defensive regarding the situation, started an argument, and clocked the store owner in anger?

That is the question that jurors and judges should be asking, but the (black) protesters outside the store aren’t interested in an investigation. They want the city to revoke the owner’s license and send him on his way before an investigation and possible conviction ever comes to pass. What if the store owner is found innocent of all charges? What if? What then? Uh-oh? Whoopsie? Give me a break, folks! By accusing him before the facts are discussed and investigated, you’re doing the same thing he did when he mistakenly suspected that woman of stealing the ice.

All things aside, this particular except got me tickled:

“Protesters said they will likely end their boycott if the Birmingham City Council revokes the owner’s business license at a public hearing scheduled for today.”

Ya think?

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One Response to “A Good Old Fashioned Lynching”

  1. […] remember that I blogged on this back when the first store owner was being targeted by this crowd.  And here is a link to that post.  You may notice another quote in that post from Ms. Webb.  If you don’t, here it is: ” […]

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