Tuesday, May 28, 2024 May 28, 2024
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IN CASE YOU THINK RACISM IS GONE

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Props to Texas Monthly‘s senior editor Pamela Colloff for February’s “The Beating of Billy Ray Johnson,” a no-frills account of an attack on a mentally disabled black man near Linden in East Texas. [subscription req’d] Too many people I encounter these days think the era of virulent racism is behind us. It’s definitely not in East Texas, nor in the rest of the state, either. The reverse spin on the incident by the locals, all but blaming it on the victim, is straight out of the worst days of Klan violence against the civil rights movement in the fifties and sixties. Maybe that’s why Southern Poverty Law Center founder Morris Dees is picking up the case as a civil suit on Johnson’s behalf, trial skedded for April.

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