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« Sweetheart, get me rewrite | Main | Paper of record »

Jun 07, 2006

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John D. Young

Jackie Clapps' very moving comments at the T&R report release event at Bennett along with Allen Johnson's column "Our Spirits Sill Roam" helped to direct our attention to the truly innocent victims of Nov. 3rd -- the residents of Morningside Homes. It seems that if "requested" apologies are appropriate certainly the former residents of Morningside Homes should be at the top of the list.

Elizabeth Wheaton said on page 170 and 171 in Codename GREENKIL, “The people of Morningside were horrified. Blood still stained the streets and sidewalks around the Morningside Community Center. Police were everywhere, asking questions and picking up the remaining bits and pieces of evidence – a bullet fragment embedded in a tree, a piece of tooth found in a gutter. Reporters wanted to know how residents felt. They responded that they felt invaded, under siege. Wheaton also quotes some of the article below from the GDN.

From the Greensboro Daily News, Nov. 7, 1979, page A16:

Ruth Beasley, president of the Morningside Homes Residence Council and spokeswoman for the Confederation of Greensboro Resident Councils, said residents of these communities are “concerned, anxious and afraid” about repetitions of violence. “We are pleading for the peace and tranquility of our communities.” The statement by the eight council presidents said “As much as we are shocked, we are angry that all this happened in one of our communities. Why must our communities be targeted for marches and demonstrations? We have worked hard for 10 years to bring peace and stability to our neighborhoods. Such demonstrations, she said, attract neighborhood children and adults and jeopardize their safety.”

Rev. Frank Williams, pastor of New Jerusalem Baptist Church, which has many Morningside Homes residents as members, said, he deplored the violence. He said Nelson Johnson, leader of WVO (CWP), “had a right to state his grievances because this is a free country.” However, Williams said, “I don’t feel that anyone has the right to put lives of innocent people in jeopardy. If they wanted to battle it out,” he said, “why didn’t they take their war to the Coliseum parking lot instead of here, jeopardizing the lives of the elderly, women and children?”

sean coon

the naive behavior of the protestors that day -- bringing their own children to a march named "death to the klan" and not expecting potential violence -- is what astounds me. if johnson, cannon and others hadn't brought their own kids to the march, i'd agree 100% with rev. wilson's perspective. but therein lies the conflict...

in any event, the city does owe an apology. zero police presence on 11/3 was complicit in the escalation of violence that day and that very attitude of indifference followed with curfews in a neighborhood that just happened to be the starting point for outsiders, not a hub of active protestors.

for city government to not understand that fact then, as well as 27 years later following a two-year TRC process, well, it says a lot to me. i wonder what it says to the former residents of morningside...

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