And Justice for All???
After I was served, the next days were spent contacting the ACLU and getting advice. After speaking with an attorney, I was told that I needed to respond within 30 days or they could ask the judge to grant the demands listed in the summons. I started researching cases mentioned in the paperwork I received. At one point, I felt overwhelmed. The thought of me drafting a defense in response to a legal summons issued by an attorney with decades of legal experience was somewhat daunting. I felt like David getting ready to battle Goliath. I conducted more research and determined how my response was supposed to be drafted. I typed my response and let the papers sit for a few days before filing my response. On May 20, 2015, when I walked into the cold corridor of the Lamar Courthouse, I looked at the wall filled with pictures of deceased white men and in that moment, I thought about all the black men that were unjustly brought through those same doors because someone fabricated a story about them. I thought about all those who sought justice in an unjust system. As I took more steps, I thought about Emmit Till, the young black boy that was murdered and his body brutalized because a white woman accused him of whistling at her. After giving the clerk my papers, I thought of Mack Charles Parker, another black man that was murdered before getting a trial but he was lynched because he was accused by a white woman. In that moment, I was filled with joy and sorrow. Sorrow for the countless black men that entered those doors shackled with no hope of justice and joy for the God given ability to prepare a defense. Standing there, I thought about the fact that I reside in a state where killing and lynching a 14 year old boy was considered justice. Now I must rely on this same system of justice to weigh the value of my writings against the accusations of a white woman that feels I'm too critical of her duties as a public official.
Is this America, the land of the free and home of the brave? Blogging is what I do it's not what I am. Did I see this coming? I'm not sure but I've been down this road before. Now I've never been to court but the readers of this blog know that the last board did everything they could to stop me from blogging. Alderman at Large, Bobby Gibson, tried to get his business partner, Ben Winston, former supervisor/current mayor, to see if he could flex his muscles as a County Supervisor and ban me from the Lamar County Libraries. There were even allegations that Winston threatened to cut library funding if I wasn't banned and this is the person trying to regain that same position. After that didn't work, former police chief Dennis Hobson and his cronies found some antiquated parking law and managed to have me ticketed and towed for parking in front of my apartment. I think I was a day late on paying my ticket. So they did the logical thing and overlooked $725,000 in deliquent tickets, got a judge to sign a warrant for my arrest and I had to spend the night in jail for a parking ticket. Now we're at the next step, I'm getting sued and lied on with hopes of getting a restraining order so I can no longer attend board meetings. As Winston Churchill stated, the reason why people should care about this case is plain.
"You cannot stand by and let one person be stripped of their rights without it someday coming home to you. If they can do it to me, they can do it to anybody"My blog is the modern day public square; the cornerstone of democracy. This country was built on the concept that anyone can hop on a metaphorical soapbox and air their grievances about the government
I am well aware that my words along with my color are the reasons why I'm being dragged into court. The more I look at the events that led up to this, I gather that she's probably supported by the majority of the board as well as tne mayor because they need me gone too. They can no longer deal with my quest for transparency and accountability. They could let the news get a whiff that a group of old men are taking a blogger to court. Why not use a fraile, old white woman who jowls tremble when she speaks and tears up at the drop of a hat. This is where Merlene's inner Miss Millie from the Color Purple gets to perform. Despite any claims that she's always done for the coloreds, she still can look down her nose and play the victimized white woman that would stoop so low as to say photos of a public building are tantamount to stalking. I know I use too may references to movies in my blog but could we pause for a moment and turn to page 3, chapter one and verse one of B***h, You Tried It! Now back to our regular blog post. During the Jim Crow era, the common accusation was he looked at me or he raped me and all the good upstanding white folks would gather around and ask what he looked like and the response would be it was a n****r. Keep in mind, they know or suspect she's lying but since they want to lynch someone anyway, they go along. Apologies, I drifted back into movie land but the stories told in that paperwork I received seemed like a Hollywood script.
But this is a different time. Today, they don't call the lynch mob to drag you from a jail cell in the middle of the nignt to throw your body over the Pearl River bridge. No, that's so 1959. This is the era of the New Jim Crow, they call attorneys instead. For the record, I don't apologize for my blackness and I don't apologize for your fear. Who would have thought that after decades of painting black men as uneducated brutes that in the State of Mississippi, a black man would be taken to court because of his beautiful mind and his ability to see things differently. It's amazing that just miles from here, there are people supporting the Ku Klux Klan's right to assemble in Jones County because to deny them a forum would violate their first amendment rights. We all know the Klan's history of violence but it seems that some think a black man armed with a stylus, tablet and smartphone is more dangerous than the KKK. I guess Bob Dylan was right, the times, they are a changing. It amazes me that the world in which we live has become so fake that the truth actually bothers people. Imagine that.