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April 17, 2003

Civil rights, then and now

- Mrs. Verda Welcome, Maryland's only Black State Senator at the time, was shot and wounded as she left a church meeting in Baltimore.
6/16/64 - Ku Klux Klan attorney J.B. Stoner of Atlanta and KKK leader Halstead Muncey say violence against Blacks would continue as long s Blacks continue to "invade" White areas of the St. Augustine, Florida.
6/18/64 - In a premature test of the Civil Rights Act's public accommodation section five Black and two White men dived into St. Augustine's Monson Hotel's swimming pool. Hotel manager,  James Brock reacted by hurling two jugs of muriatic acid into the pool.
6/21/64 - Three civil rights workers, Michael Schwerner (White-24), James Cheney (Black-21) and Andrew Goodman (White20), were reported missing in Mississippi. They were part of a group seeking to aid Black voter registration in the state. They had arrived the previous day.
6/22/64 - Mobs of club wielding Segregationists beat Blacks who showed up at a St. Augustine public beach. Two days later police protected Blacks on the beach, but Segregationists waited in the surf, attacking Blacks when they entered the water.
7/3/64 - The day after Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law Blacks in Atlanta, Georgia sought entrance to a restaurant. Owner Lester Maddox blocked the entrance, brandishing a pistol, shouting: "You ain't never gonna get in here." When the crowd persisted, Maddox and White patrons chased them with axe handles. 
8/5/64 - The bodies of three civil rights workers missing since June were discovered by FBI agents, buried 25 feet down in an earthen dam near Philadelphia, Miss. Both Schwerner and Goodman had been shot through the heart, Chaney had been beaten severely.


Children's Nursery Rhyme Triggers Racial Discrimination Lawsuit
By Marc Morano
CNSNews.com Senior Staff Writer
April 16, 2003

(CNSNews.com) - A Southwest Airlines flight attendant's use of a popular children's rhyme -"Eenie, meenie, minie, moe" - has resulted in a federal racial discrimination lawsuit against the airline filed by two African American women asking for unspecified financial damages.

One of the two women suing over the allegedly offensive nursery rhyme claims hearing the rhyme caused her to be bedridden for three days and suffer from "unexplained memory gaps," according to court documents.

The trial was supposed to start Tuesday in Kansas City, Kan., but U.S. District Court Judge Kathryn Vratil delayed the case until Sept. 29.

Southwest Airline passengers Louise Sawyer and Grace Fuller allege they suffered racial discrimination on the flight in February 2001 when flight attendant Jennifer Cundiff said over the plane's intercom, "Eenie, meenie, minie, moe; pick a seat, we gotta go." The two women say they were the only passengers standing in the aisle at the time.

Sawyer and Fuller said that as soon as they heard the rhyme, they were reminded of the racist version that starts with the phrase: "Eenie, meenie, minie, moe; catch a n***** by his toe ..."

A more modern version of the nursery rhyme substitutes the offensive phrase with the words, "Catch a tiger by the toe." The rhyme is traditionally used by children to pick someone who will be "it." According to at least one word and phrase historian, the original rhyme using the n-word dates back to about the mid-19th century.

Sawyer and Fuller, who are sisters, had also originally alleged physical and emotional distress as a result of the nursery rhyme but earlier this year, Judge Vratil dismissed that aspect of the lawsuit, narrowing the complaint to the issue of discrimination.

Full story: CNSnews


Posted by Jack Lewis at April 17, 2003 08:15 AM