Civil Rights

"Montgomery's New Civil Rights Struggle": Racially Charged Eminent Domain Abuse

|

The above is from a Fox affiliate. Here's snippets from a Liveshot blog:

In 1955, Rosa Parks boarded a bus and forever changed the course of history. Her very public struggle for equality began at a bus stop outside Columbia Court apartments in Montgomery, Alabama.

"It is a very sad situation, it is quite ironic, that this is the place, this is the city where the civil rights movement began in 1955, a very assertive civil rights movement led by Martin Luther King. Yet you have the civil rights of minorities being violated here in a new kind of way, on, I think, a massive scale," said David Beito, chair of the Alabama advisory board to the US Commission on Civil Rights.

Residents—mostly African-American — accuse the city of Montgomery of taking their property without just compensation. Using the city's blight ordinance, Montgomery is condemning properties, demolishing them, and even billing the property owners for the demolition costs.

"We have good evidence that these homes are not in fact blighted, that is the pretext that they are blighted and that is why they are being demolished," Beito said. "Property owners are losing their land and I think that there is good reason to believe it often ends up in the hands of wealthy developers. It's eminent domain on steroids."…

The Alabama Advisory Board found in favor of the property owners, recommending that the full U.S. Civil Rights Commission investigate any violations by the city. No one from the city appeared before the board.

Beito says there is evidence the city of Montgomery is targeting black homeowners for the benefit of private developers.

Read more.

Beito, a University of Alabama historian, has written for Reason and we've covered this specific case. Links here.

NEXT: In July 2011, The U.S. Drawdown in Afghanistan Will Begin. Or Not.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. This is absolutely morally repugnant.

    Really, there is nothing else you can add than that. This is such an obvious case of the state infringing on the basic rights of persons and their property that I really cannot come up with better words. We as Americans should be OUTRAGED that such things can go on within our own nation.

    1. Absolutely! With no people of color elected to the city council, how could you expect any other outcome? No, wait, must be something else, like the state infringement on property rights you noticed too.

  2. Why don’t they just convict them of withcraft?

  3. The good side is that wealthy developers, long oppressed by these awful black people who steal money for welfare, are finally getting their just due.

    We should be proud that Montgomery has finally come to its senses and given a break to the persecuted developers who are just trying to scrape by on millions of dollars a year. Bravo!

    1. I am a libertarian and a developer and this is travesty of justice.

      Go fuck yourself Mr troll.

    2. Fap fap fap fap fap fap fap.

    3. Good thing those liberal judges all voted for Kelo in Kelo v. City of New London.

      Oh, wait…

      1. The Supreme Court’s chickens….have come home….to roost!!

        1. That would have been the case if the effort to takes Justice Stevens’ farm had been successful.

          What goes around, comes around. If not examined too closely, it passes for justice. — Terry Pratchett

  4. Property owners are losing their land and I think that there is good reason to believe it often ends up in the hands of wealthy developers. It’s eminent domain on steroids.

    Ummm, that’s not eminent domain. It’s called theft. I could maybe meet Beito halfway and agree on “Eminem-inent Domain”.

  5. I agree with this—The good side is that wealthy developers, long oppressed by these awful black people who steal money for welfare, are finally getting their just due.

    We should be proud that Montgomery has finally come to its senses and given a break to the persecuted developers who are just trying to scrape by on millions of dollars a year. Bravo!

  6. [the following is from a statist CoC perspective]

    Much of west Montgomery is blighted by any definition. There’s entire blocks of uninhabited shacks that aren’t worth demolition costs. The city has an interest in keeping some semblance of middle class in it’s western half, and dubious claims in this story aside, paying anything for that land is a win-win for everybody.

    [I don’t really buy any of that, but any news clip with a professor in a neighborhood he’d be found dead in after dark deserves criticism.]

    1. While traveling east on I-10 Tuesday I decided to take a detour to the Dauphin Island/Fort Morgan ferry. (Found out DI is atrocious. FM to Pensacola is cool.) The Montgomery Fox van was there. WTF, in the same week Birmingham Fox is reporting from Montgomery and Montgomery Fox from the Mobile area.

    2. The whole city is blighted, including the Capitol and that goddamn stretch of I-65 that has been under construction for about 40 years now.

      That said, what is being done here fully deserves to be stopped, and those responsible forced to walk the streets alone all night for 30 days or so.

  7. Dear friends,I am a fanatic watch collection, especially the well-known watches, you also can do, just click on my name!!!!!!!!

  8. I found it interesting that this clip broke on Fox News.

    Now, normally I’m not a fan, as a few of their big names can sometimes out 700 Club Pat Robertson. But, they have been labeled as mega-racist boogy-men by the Journo-listas. How then, do we explain this piece? Is it possible that the slant they take (and that the Left loves to hate) is idealogical rather than racial?

    They seem eager to take the side of the black home owners in our little morality play known as the “Individual vs the State”.

    Meanwhile, reporting on a Black Congressman facing 8 or 9 felony charges in the process of abusing their own State power is still racist, according to Media Matters.

    Nothing to see here…

    1. Fox is tabloid as much as anything else. They like to have good looking blonds with nice legs. They will cover the hell out of unseemly stories that they think people will want to see. Basically they are a news organization interested in making a profit and attracting viewers rather than promoting an agenda. For that, liberals will never forgive them.

    2. it’s a fox affiliate, not fox news.

      1. At least someone knows there’s a distinction. Cable news and local affiliates, even if owned by the parent cable channel, are completely different.

  9. Rosa Parks boarded a bus and forever changed the course of history.

    I hate that clich

    1. Me to. Phillip Randolph was doing much the same thing clear through the 1940s. And there were other people arrested in Montgomery for refusing to sit at the back of the bus. But Rosa worked for NAACP. And she was a perfect poster child. What she did was a good thing. But the BS high school history makes it sound like she was first black person who ever decided to ignore the law. The emphasis on Parks is really kind of insulting when you think about it.

      1. The problem with that is Rosa WAS sitting in the back of the bus. She was actually sitting in the designated negro section. It was when a white passenger got on board and demanded she give up her seat to him that she refused.

    2. The course of history is preordained.

    3. I think this is a more apt quote, Hedley:

      Wait a minute… there might be legal precedent. Of course! Land-snatching!…Land, land… “Land: see Snatch.”….Ah, Haley vs. United States. Haley: 7, United States: nothing. You see, it can be done!

  10. I firmly oppose eminent domain abuse. I also predict that most of the people who screamed against racism and the violation of land rights during the Ground Zero Islamic Center debates won’t even bother to comment on this post.

  11. I firmly oppose eminent domain abuse.

    FTFM.

  12. Amazing how someone always has to come along and make a big ole “Black Thang” out of it. Dude, slavery ended a LONG time ago, get over it already and stop playing the race card.

    Lou
    http://www.web-privacy.es.tc

  13. Where’s Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton?

    1. Those fellows are not big property rights boosters.

    2. Advocating for the use of eminent domain to facilitate the building of a community center for African Americans.

  14. Urban planners, feel free to weigh in on the subject.

  15. Residents — mostly African-American — accuse the city of Montgomery…

    The city of Montgomery is plurality black, so that’s not surprising; if anything it’s indicative of racial neutrality.

    Funny to start the article with a Rosa Parks story since the article provided no evidence at all that there was any racial element involved. I suppose it’s assumed that the Evil Developers are white. Are they? The Evil City Council isn’t.

    1. Without the race angle, it’s just a story about typical government abuse of eminent domain. Booorrinnggg. Who cares about that?

  16. Yeah, Montgomery is the last place you’d expect racism – it’s mostly black….

    In fact, there are so many black people that…. You can’t even see the townspeople at night!!!

    LOLOLOLOLOL RACIST JOKE!

    1. Oh, you can see them easily enough, with one of these: http://www.amazon.com/ATN-Mars…..B0019D4VLG

      1. Also, there was the guy who ran over a town in Colorado with a bulldozer that he armored up.

        At least that was heavy metal.

  17. Is the SPLC involved in any way on this one?

  18. Eminent domain used to claim property to sell (or give) for private/business use is wrong no matter what reason is used to do it. We, as Americans, should stand up to this abuse by our government. To allow it to continue is to endorse the practice.

  19. Supra Shoes is the first programme specifically designed for sports Supra Skytop

  20. Property owners are losing their land and I think that there is good reason to believe it often ends up in the hands of wealthy developers. It’s eminent domain on steroids.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.