Sunday, August 25, 2019

St. Augustine City Commission should authorize Civil Rights marker for 1897 lynching murder of ISAAC BARRETT

Our City Commission will consider tomorrow night a marker for the 1897 lynching murder of Mr. Isaac Barrett in Orangedale, which was reported in The New York Times with a St. Augustine byline.  

I support the historical marker for the 1897 lynching of Isaac Barrett in Orangedale. The first marker, approved by St. Johns Commission, was stolen in 2018, before the dedication ceremony.  

At the Monday, August 26, 2019 St. Augustine City Commission meeting, Commissioners, 5 PM will consider placing it in the City's historic Plaza de la Constitucion, near where Mr. Barrett would have been taken to jail and legal proceedings, were it were not for the unAmerican activities of the Ku Klux Klan here, which murdered Mr. Barrett.

Former St. Johns County Commission Chairman Benjamin Rich, Sr. told Folio Weekly in 2008 that St. Johns County was "one of the last bastions of the Ku Klux Klan."  

Bumptious bullies plan to speak against the monument, making false statements based on hate.

Americans defeat bullies, as we did in 1776 and World War II.

We don't like loudmouths who know nothing about Civil Rights and try to block healing efforts here in St. Augustine.The EJI lynching marker is of a significant historical event, covered by City Ordinance 22-9.  See below.

Thousands of lynching murders throughout the South and Southwest were perpetrated against African-Americans, Hispanic people, (and even whites for being progressives or union organizers).

The lynchings helped lead to the formation of NAACP and adoption of Civil Rights laws.  

The 1964 Civil Rights Act was made possible by the courage of people in St. Augustine, some 1000 of whom were illegally arrested by KKK Sheriff LAWRENCE O. DAVIS, lauded on the website of corrupt Sheriff David Shoar, who legally changed his name from "HOAR" in 1994.  

On his website, SHOAR falsely states that Rev. Dr.  Martin Luther King, Jr. was arrested by federal agents in 1964, falsely states that DAVIS held the town together, and falsely states that Sheriff DAVIS was "exonerated" by our Florida State Senate, which removed him by 44-2 vote.

Billie Holliday sang "Strange Fruit," a Grammy Hall of Fame song about lynching.

Billie Holliday was persecuted and punished for it, dying after being arrested in her hospital bed.  

Meanwhile, Southern segregationist Senators filibustered anti-lynching laws passed by the House of Representatives.  

Here's a song for the bullies and bigots who don't want a lynching historical marker  -- please pray for them to learn compassion and history:

Southern trees bear a strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black body swinging in the Southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant South,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolia sweet and fresh,
And the sudden smell of burning flesh!

Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for a tree to drop,

Here is a strange and bitter crop.

Sec. 22-9. - Placement of monuments, plaques and memorials on city property.

It shall be unlawful for any person to place a plaque, memorial or monument on any city right-of-way or city owned property, except in conformity with the following requirements:

(a) Approval of city commission. No plaque, memorial or monument may be placed upon any city property without the approval of the city commission first obtained.
(b) Application. An application for placement of a plaque, memorial or monument shall be filed with the city manager on a form as designated by him which shall require the following information to be provided:
(i) A statement of significant historical, cultural or civic contributions to, or acts of patriotism and bravery relating to, the City of St. Augustine.
(ii) Agreement by the applicant to pay the cost of construction, placement and any repairs required for the plaque, memorial or monument.
(c) Review by city manager. The city manager will review the application and provide his recommendation to the city commission as to the suitability of placement of the plaque, memorial or monument. No plaque, monument or memorial is to be recommended to the city commission by the city manager for placement in the City Commons otherwise known as Plaza de la Constitucion, unless the plaque, monument or memorial commemorates a significant activity or event which occurred prior to February 22, 1821 or unless the plaque, monument or memorial commemorates the service to the city of citizens leading and participating in the civil rights movement in St. Augustine. Absent unusual circumstances, which shall be set forth in the recommendation, any other recommendation shall be for placement of a plaque, meeting uniform standards promulgated by the city manager, on the interior loggia columns of the Alcazar Hotel Building.
(Ord. No. 92-27, § 1, 1-12-92; Ord. No. 09-14, § 1, 4-27-09)

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