This is the second excerpt from a speech recently delivered at the Campaign to End the Death Penalty conference on the campus of the University of Chicago. The introduction can be found here. AGB
The new Jim Crow comes to Tulia, Texas
By Alan Bean
To understand how radically our society has changed it is helpful to trace the life stories of the folks running the new Jim Crow machinery in small southern towns. The stories you are about to hear are taken from cases investigated by Friends of Justice, but they are symptomatic of a national disease.
I started talking about the new Jim Crow in Tulia, Texas when I realized that a drug bust that swept up half the adult black males in town was standard operating procedure.
There is a picture of Larry Stewart in an old copy of the Tulia Herald. It was Cowboy Day at the Tulia High School, circa 1960, and Larry came dressed as an old-time Texas Sheriff, badge and all. But Larry wasn’t supposed to grow up to be a lawman; like most local boys he wanted to farm like his daddy did before him. (more…)