Monday, January 26, 2015

John Locke Foundation's Sam Hieb, and the N&R's Joe Killian and Susan Ladd; "Ask Mike Barber about the Klan-Nazi shootout"

"Notable quote from today’s N&R front-pager on the controversy over a proposed historical marker commemorating the 179 Klan-Nazi shootout:

“I certainly don’t think those people deserved to die,” Greensboro Councilman Mike Barber said last week. “But if you go and poke a bunch of rednecks who have guns and you print ‘Death to the Klan’ fliers, that puts you in the stupid category if you ask me.”

Otherwise Joe Killian’s article is pretty much the same article you see on the front page of the N&R every few years.  If putting up a historical marker means I won’t have to read this story for a few more years, then I say fine.

Posted January 25th, 2015 at 8:30 PM by Sam Hieb"
From the sidebar and the News and Record article;

"Police informer Eddie Dawson, a longtime Klansman, obtains a copy of the parade permit detailing the route. That night, Dawson pastes his own posters over the “Death to Klan” fliers. Dawson’s posters, depicting a man hanging from a tree, read: “NOTICE to the Traitors, Communists, Race Mixers and Black Rioters. Even now the cross-hairs are on the back of YOUR necks. It’s time for old-fashioned American Justice.”

"Posters advertising the Nov. 3 rally in Greensboro described it as “organize to physically smash the racist KKK wherever it rears its ugly head,” and challenged the Klan to appear, promising “we will show you no mercy.”

Nov. 3, 1979 — Members of the Klan, Communist Workers Party and neo-Nazis clash at the former Morningside Homes at a “Death to the Klan” march. Five people are killed and 10 injured.

"Violent clashes between the CWP and the rival Revolutionary Community Party were well documented."

"...on Nov. 3, 1979, law enforcement — from the Greensboro Police Department and FBI, which had informants among the North Carolina Klan and neo-Nazi contingents, to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, which had an active undercover agent among the neo-Nazi group — failed to prevent a tragedy."

How did the police fail?

"According to later investigations and testimony, officers failed to effectively communicate with each other.  Some were completely unavailable by radio.  Tactical units were not in place when they were supposed to be."


"Greensboro police officers observed as a nine-car caravan of Klan and neo-Nazi members drove from I-85 to Morningside Homes. Once there, the caravan met protesters who taunted them and attacked their cars with sticks and clubs. The Klan/Nazi contingent fired shots, unloaded their cache of guns and opened fire on anti-Klan protesters.

Police took action only after shots were fired."

How long after shots were fired?

CWP members fought with the Klan and neo-Nazis.  Some produced guns — despite a demonstration permit forbidding them — and a gunfight ensued.

...“But what hasn’t been talked about by the city, the government or the media is the shameful role played by the police on that day,” Foxworth said. “They want to talk about that as little as possible.”

What was the "shameful role"?

"In a 1985 federal civil trial, a jury awarded nearly $400,000 in damages after finding two police officers and six Klansmen and neo-Nazis liable for the wrongful death of one of those killed and for assault and battery on two survivors."

Why were two police officers found liable?

Aug. 4, 1980 — Criminal trial of 14 Klan and Nazi members begins in Guilford County Superior Court.  Six face first-degree murder charges.

Nov. 17, 1980 — Trial ends with not guilty verdicts on all counts.

I recall reading the jury at the trial was 100% white.

The article doesn't say if that is the case.

The video appears to show them get out of cars
and gun down some folks.

Jan. 9, 1984 — Criminal trial in federal court in Winston-Salem begins for nine people involved in the shootings.

April 15, 1984 — Federal trial ends with not guilty verdicts.

Was it a federal jury trial?

March 11, 1985 — Federal civil trial begins in Winston-Salem.

June 7, 1985 — The jury awards nearly $400,000 in damages after finding two police officers and six Klansmen and Nazis liable for the wrongful death of one of those killed, and for assault and battery on two survivors.*

What was the racial composition of the Winston-Salem jury?

Nov. 6, 1985 — The city of Greensboro settles for $351,000 to the estate of Michael Nathan, one of the men killed.*

Why did the city settle with only one?
Why is Mike Barber's quote notable?

Is Mike Barber suggesting the stupidity of the demonstrators 
justified shooting at/killing them?

Is Mike Barber suggesting the stupidity of the demonstrators 
justified letting the killers not being prosecuted for murder?

Is Mike Barber suggesting all the demonstrators deserved getting shot
including the kids?

Were the demonstrators with guns prosecuted?

Were the people who died armed?
The Mike Barber quote from Susan Ladd's article;

“The bigger issue for me is that in a city of almost 300,000 people, we continue to have just a handful of people who live their lives looking in the rearview mirror.

Isn't the idea to remember our history
so we don't repeat it?

...That’s what holds Greensboro back — a small group of people who make an industry of racism and unhappiness, marketing all that’s unpleasant and negative no matter how long ago these things occurred.”

Don't both Christians and Jews
re-read the story of Exodus every year?

Is Barber referring to the "small group of people"
in Greensboro's African American community
who didn't endorse Mike in 2007?

Why didn't the Simkins PAC endorse Mike Barber?

Has the Simkins PAC ever endorsed Barber?
...Here’s what Jones said:

“It’s my speculation that there’s a part of the mayor’s group that would like to see the museum taken over so the history and integrity of the civil rights movement can be undermined and whitewashed.

Complete nonsense
from someone who could profit from the museum property.

I think that’s what it’s about.”
Susan Ladd on Jones and Barber's comments;

"Both are prime examples of the rhetoric that keeps Greensboro from having a meaningful dialogue about race relations.

Both statements shut down productive conversation by demonizing others and drawing sweeping conclusions based on little more than opinion and suspicion.

Both take the extreme view and generate mostly anger.

Both statements are offensive.

And both are wrong."
Sometimes people who grow up without feeling discriminated against
end up more likely to have discriminatory feelings.

Sometimes people who grow up discriminated against
have ill feelings towards large groups of people
not associated with the endured discrimination.

Sometimes people are resentful,
and want to sweep other people's stories of discrimination under the rug
because it interrupts their view of themselves.

That's my guess as to what Susan Ladd meant.

Don't know what Sam Hieb meant.
"The two criminal trials against the Klansmen and the Nazi Party members led to all defendants being acquitted by all-white juries.

A 1985 civil rights suit ...resulted in one of the few decisions in a Southern court to date against law enforcement officials accused of collusion with Klan violence.

"Bernard Butkovich, an undercover agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), later testified that he was aware that Klansmen and members of the American Nazi Party unit he had infiltrated would confront the demonstrators. In an earlier testimony, the neo-Nazis claimed Butkovich encouraged them to carry firearms to the demonstration."