#McKinney, #MonsonMotorLodge, #AliveWhileBlack

On June 6, 2015, police were called and told there were "too many black people" at a pool party at an all white residential community in McKinney, Texas. This is what happened:



When I saw this, what I thought was, Monson Motor Lodge. 

The manager of the motel James Brock was photographed pouring muriatic acid into the pool to get the protesters out.

"Martin Luther King Jr. had planned the sit-in during the St. Augustine Movement, a part of the larger civil rights movement. "
Then the hotel owner called the police. One of whom tried to club a rabbi in the pool with his nightstick: 
Two rabbis had checked into the Monson Motor Lodge and the news media had been notified in advance that a "swim in" would occur at the pool on the afternoon of June 18, 1964. Two rabbi and five blacks were in the pool. Here an officer tries to hit one of the rabbis with his club. The demonstrators were arrested while Martin Luther King was across the street.
Then an off duty  police officer jumped in the pool to attack the protestors:
An off duty police officer jumped into the pool to fight with the rabbis 
Eventually they arrested the protestors.  I need to reiterate that the protestors were peacefully swimming in the pool. The press had been alerted and as a result, As soon as they were told they were arrested they complied with police demands.
Monson Motor Lodge happened 51 years ago. In 51 years, we still have not progressed past this Apartheid view of our own citizens. 
A demonstrator is taken away from the swimming pool at the Monson Motor Lodge in St. Augustine, Fl June 18, 1964
A thorough inspection of the 51 year old photographic record of the Monson Motor Lodge swim in will show that both the behavior of the owner and the on and off duty police was unacceptable. It can be argued that the uncanny similarity between the behavior of the police officer who pulled a gun on the teenagers who tried to keep him from abuse of power over a bystander teenaged girl speaks volumes about the police and the pool management's attitudes towards the swimmers.  Actions do indeed speak louder than words.                                                                                                                                                                                        
If you don't understand why innocent teens ran in all directions away from the pool when they heard police coming, then you haven't been keeping track of the number of black young people killed by police since the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. They were running for their lives.

The incredible hatred and the polarization in Texas is beyond disturbing 50 years after a sit in protest for the right of Black people to swim in the same pool white people swim in. What this latest in a series of racist and ableist incidents shows is that bigotry is not just being spoon fed to the citizens of Texas, it is part and parcel of the entire institutional fabric of the state. Hate is against human nature. It is not part of us. It is learned. 

It is the responsibility of those who manage a public pool to insure that the numbers of guests using the facilities do not exceed the pool's capacity and that residents are informed of events that might occupy the pool and generate noise, such as a pool party. What is emerging from this story is information that the pool party was a planned event, the black teens there were issued guest passes, and the HOA informed its residents in advance of the event that it would happen. Then a very old and ugly bias against people of color and white people sharing use of a pubic space was most likely behind residents calling the police. Any normal teen behavior was presumed to be criminal behavior because of their race. That is the very definition of racism. Everything that a single police officer id was  based on his presumption that they are less than he is.  If all these teens had been white, and the argument had broken out because the same woman told them to go back to the trailer park, we must all ask ourselves a. what the residents would have done, b. if the police would have been called, and c. if the teens would have been treated the same way.

This all requires taking an  honest at the history of racial segregation and the systems that perpetuate it. Then we all need to take a long look in the mirror and take a position on the constant racial maltreatment happens around us.

Change begins with you. Speak, or remain silent and allow injustice to escalate until it happens to you and yours. 

Photo credits Rare Historical Photos
More on Monson Motor Lodge swim in: http://www.npr.org/2014/06/13/321380585/remembering-a-civil-rights-swim-in-it-was-a-milestone


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