Friday, October 09, 2015
All-White County Lifeguard Staff? Why?
Here's our 2015 St. Johns County Marine Rescue lifeguard staff -- all white, apparently. Why?
This is unacceptable. There is more diversity among lifeguard staffs in South Africa than in SJC. Thus, I have requested diversity employment statistics and diversity recruiting plans from St. Johns County Attorney Patrick McCormack.
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote from St. Johns County Jail on June 11, 1964 that this was the "most lawless" place in America.
Even our Atlantic Ocean was segregated.
Inspired by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wade-ins were held at St. Augustine Beach Pier (in the segregated ocean) and at the Monson Motel swimming pool, where muriatic acid poured in the pool was shown on worldwide news media. Images of St. Augustine's vicious racist police, deputies, KKK, John Birch Society and outside hate-spewers (like Birmingham bomber J. B. Stoner) gave President Lyndon Johnson the facts he needed for moral suasion to break the Senate filibuster. Thus, through the courageous efforts of Dr. King and local and national heroes came the 1964 Civil Rights Act. It desegregated employment and public accommodations, including beaches and motels.
St. Augustine did not respond with compassion to the law. Quite the contrary, it ran Florida Memorial College (now Florida Memorial University) out of town, creating a hostile environment for African-Americans that lingers to this day.
In fact, the desegregated downtown Young Men's Christian Association (a/k/a YMCA) mysteriously proceeded to sell its building for a song to Flagler College; the downtown YMCA was torn down for Flagler College tennis courts. The YMCA was then allowed to build on ten acres of state park land leased from Anastasia State Park, on the island, not in easy walking distance for African-Americans.
And the County lifeguard staff for our once-segregated ocean -- all white. Wonder why?
As LBJ said to Congress after Selma, "We SHALL overcome!"