Whether people like to speak of it or not, this town has a bloody, racist, violent, terroristic history, replete with KKK raids, and marches for black civil rights. It is a compelling, inspiring, and shocking story that I'll be sure to tell you more about later.
Another of the Producers of the film series is, in full disclosure, a relative of mine. She is born and raised in this town, and her father was a known civil rights leader in this town. He organized and, along with others, fought to protect defenseless people from the threats and danger from the Ku Klux Klan of that period. Surveillance cameras caught an intruder on her land last night.
Here's what a person, or persons, did to her car on January 17, 2012... And my reaction then.
"I am PISSED!!!!!!! One of our family members was a prominent civil rights leader, and, while i can't say too much right now--- because there is now a federal hate crime investigation ongoing...
I got a call this morning notifying me that--- on the DAY of the King Holiday--- someone TRIED to burn the house down and, when that FAILED... burned up the car in her driveway. (Completely destroyed).Coincidence? I think not!
Despite this news, I STILL believe that the dream of Dr. King is still precious!! We've just still <CLEARLY> got a LOT more work to do. Right, Reverend Doctor Bernice King? ♥
No man should give up his manhood! OR womanhood! I am pleased to report that nobody was injured or killed. Thank GOD!"
Now, to be clear, the town's leaders do not wish to have themselves--- or their town reminded of--- or highlighted for--- their links to its shameful, despicable past.
In fact, if you look at the town's Wiki page, there is absolutely no mention at all, of the civil rights, KKK, racist activities or history whatsoever. Not addressing it does not mean that it didn't happen. However, this writer doesn't seek to single out this town, when the entire south participated in identical behaviors. The town is only mentioned due to its history, and relevance to the series.
I can understand how people wouldn't wish to be linked to such a history today. I can certainly understand that not EVERYONE in Bogalusa, or Washington Parish, shares the racist opinions of their forebears. I would like to believe that the good people of the town had evolved along with much of the rest of the world. I happen to know, however, of a blatant, racist, public occurrence, as recently as 2011, in that parish.
It must be so easy to want to sweep something so hateful under the rug, when it was not you being lynched or beaten or shot at. How lovely it must be to be able to ask, "What's the big deal... can't we just drop it--- that happened more than fifty years ago!" If there is embarrassment about what one's ancestors did, it will remain a dogged, inconvenient, uncomfortable truth. Whether one wants to discuss, or remember, or own it, or not.
And now, two women of a certain age, and their other family members connected to this town, remain under the same types of threats and terrorism--- with an ugly sort of vigilance and alertness and concern--- just as they have done, for more than fifty years... on a daily basis. Yes. Really.
Post-racial? In a pig's eye. We have come far, but have SO much farther to go.
Just as in last year's attack, the F.B.I. have been called today. Last night's incident has been added to their, ongoing, investigation.