DALLAS (NNPA) - Dallas has an ugly history of racism - one that city leaders are not so eager to share with visiting tourists. Therefore, tourists find themselves unknowingly at Dallas' historical center of the South's most egregious brands of "justice."
Not far from the steps of the old Red Court House, hate groups lynched African-Americans without the due process of law. Among those lynched was an elderly man named Allen Brooks. On May 3, 1910, vigilantes administered justice, Texas style.
Brooks, a 68-year-old Black man on trial for allegedly molesting a 3-year-old White girl, was seized from the courtroom, bound, thrown out of the 2nd floor window of the courthouse, knocked unconscious and lynched in the courtyard before thousands of witnesses. The crowd brutalized his body and took parts of his clothes as souvenirs.
It is here, at this place of injustice that Black leaders have gathered to state their case about the modern terror tactics of the Ku Klux Klan and other hate groups and to serve notice to them, "Enough is enough." Recent acts of overt racial intimidation cause it to appear that shameful legacy of the south is indeed rising again in North Texas.
On May 12, almost 100 years after Brooks' lynching, several local groups, led by Claudia Fowler, the Political Chair of the Dallas NAACP, met on the steps of the Old Red Dallas Court House to say, "no" to racial hatred and violence. Those groups included the Dallas Commons, The New Black Panthers Party, Texas Alliance of the Formerly Incarcerated and Victims of Racial Hate and Intimidation.
Just eight months ago, On Oct. 12, 2008, Ministers Ernest and Debbie Walker, who have a home in Ovilla, Texas out of which they operate a home based Christian ministry, were victims of vandalism. The words, "no n——rs" were spray painted on the door of their home. Mrs. Walker said the word does not personally offend her because she knows what it means, but stated, "I think it was meant to scare us. I am not angry at the people who committed this act of racism. I am more sorrowful that someone could disgrace God's house like this".
Fowler, who is calling this a hate crime, said she has contacted the Department of Homeland Security. "There is a new uprising of racial tensions and hatred and we must be diligent in protecting our children," Fowler stated. "I think they are border line terrorist."
Olinka Green of The New Black Panther Party gave a passionate plea for people to take this threat seriously, saying, "Me and mine we are going to be vigilant."
"This type of racism is not new to me. I deal with this type of racism all over Texas," stated Rev. Ronald Wright of Dallas Commons. Wright said he does not believe there is an increase of racial hate in the United States because of the election of President Barak Obama. In fact, he believes it has always been here and is now coming out of the shadows into the light. "They have traded in their sheets for suits and uniforms." Wright said.
However the statistics based on a Southern Poverty Law Center report on May 7, 2009, titled The Year in Hate, would beg to differ with Rev. Wright. The report proves that hate group membership and activity has grown at an alarming rate in the US since the election of President Obama. The report states that hate groups grew by 54 percent since the year 2000 and identified 926 existing hates groups in the United States. There are 38 more hate groups in 2008 than in 2007 that are now active in our country. A CNN report that gave these statistics also said that California has the most hate groups of any state in the US with a total of 84. The same article by CNN says the FBI crime report showed that there were 7,624 hate crime incidents in 2007.
The Rev. Cedric Malone, Pastor of The Church at Grand Prairie, was also present at the courthouse because he and his congregation were victims of racial hatred on May 5, 2009, when the church van was vandalized. The words are too vulgar and sexually oriented to print and the N-word was also used. Rev. Malone says he has taken the high road, which is fueled by his faith. He states, "We still believe in our community. We will overcome this, not only as African Americans, but as Americans and Christians."
Fowler stated it couldn't be proven that the KKK was involved in the incidents of vandalism recently occurring in the DFW Metroplex. However, the Klan has reared its ugly head in a local suburb, having passed out fliers in Forney. The KKK No. 66 is responsible for leaving the fliers on the doors of numerous citizens in Forney, and some of the homes were those of African American citizens. The flyers read, "Save our Land Join the Klan," and gave information with a phone number urging people to call and join. When interviewed by Fox 4, many of those residents stated they were outraged by this event.
The Klan has also initiated similar recruitment efforts in Marshall. An image of a Klansman riding on a horse, brandishing a torch is displayed on the flyer. A second page is reported by a local paper to have contained harsh criticisms of President Barak Obama, characterizing his administration as Socialists and stating, "Americans, the time to take a stand for our great nation is now. Our new president has been out downing our economy and stating he wants to remake America. Socialist leaders are not going to openly announce their intent; they mask it and sell it as progressive.
"Remember, no country has ever been bettered by socialism so why try it? Let's all band together, stand up and be heard."
Fowler called the number on the flyer and invited the KKK to this news conference and asked if they would bring applications for membership, but the Klan refused. When she suggested some Blacks wanted to join the organization, the Klan stated that people who are not White cannot join the their organization.