Jefferson County, a “Black and Proud” Bus, and a “BBQ Becky” of Our Own

Yesterday in Jefferson County, 40 African American senior citizens were denied a ride to the polls for the second day of early voting because of a “BBQ Becky.” In case you’re unaware of who BBQ Becky is, she is the lady who called police in Oakland, California this past May on some African American men who were holding a “barbecue” (or, let’s be real, it was a cookout) in a public space that the woman believed to be undesignated for that use. She was the first in a string of instances throughout the summer where white people were videotaped contacting authorities and being downright hostile for perceived, but often incorrectly assessed violations of community codes and regulations, to include a little girl selling water, a teenager who was a guest of a resident at a neighborhood pool, an actual resident of a neighborhood at the pool, and more. Lucky for Jefferson County’s version, there doesn’t appear to be video.

However, Black Votes Matter, the group holding the rally as a get out the vote event, did make a video of the seniors dancing toward the bus that was going to take them to the polls and a narration of what then occurred.

It seems that a passerby saw the bus and decided to call County Commission Chairman Mitchell McGraw to complain. Even though event organizers had gotten the rally approved by the Leisure Center’s director and county officials had been properly notified of the event in advance, the seniors asking for a ride to the polls was a bridge too far for someone who drove by. As Cliff Albright points out in the video, the look of the bus clearly made someone nervous. Jim Galloway noted in his article that all the seniors who were told they could not ride the bus to the polls still plan to vote. Good for them. On the other hand, it ends up not being a great look for Jefferson County and Chairman McGraw, who could have easily told the BBQ Becky that it’s perfectly legal for 501(c)(4)s to offer rides to the polls.

8
Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
4 Comment threads
4 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
3 Comment authors
Benevolusbethebalancechamblee54 Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
chamblee54
chamblee54

This is getting a lot of attention, and is going to get more. It is going to benefit the Abrams campaign. Could this be a set up?

chamblee54
chamblee54

When there is conspiracy talk, you should always look at who benefits.

bethebalance
bethebalance

Like the County Commissioner and/or County Administrator — the ones that made the folks get off the bus– were in on it?
That seems like nonsense to me.

chamblee54
chamblee54

I don’t know the details of the plan. Here is the circumstances. You have a Governors race. Voter suppression, directed at African-Americans, is an issue. A bus, taking African-Americans from a senior center to the early voting facility is stopped. This has never been an issue before. Why is this a problem now, with voter suppression an issue? The Abrams campaign is getting favorable publicity from this incident. The timing is curious.

bethebalance
bethebalance

The timing is curious? It’s curious there is a bus taking folks to early vote the day after the polls open? The only thing curious is the illogic. Why is it happening now? Maybe read the numerous stories about doing anything while black, as the post relays. I posted one that happened in Cobb County just a few days ago. It’s always been happening. It’s been a real problem that’s existed in some form or other for-like-ever, and there is both a simultaneous increase in overt racism due to a toxic political environment, and a huge bump in the quality… Read more »

Benevolus
Benevolus

Just shameful.
No courage, no shame, no common sense, no competence.
A meta-fail.

bethebalance
bethebalance

“perfectly legal for 501(c)(4)s to offer rides to the polls.” It’s also perfectly legal for c(3)’s. c(4)’s can in fact even directly advocate for election or defeat of a candidate. They say it was a county-sponsored event, which made the “political activity” wrong. But they offered county vans to go to the polls. But not only was there no sign of specific advocacy of election or defeat of a candidate on the bus, but even if there was, the proper remedy would be to say: The bus can’t be here. And as soon as the bus drove off the property,… Read more »

Benevolus
Benevolus

That’s possible. It’s also possible it’s a cup of ignorance with a tablespoon of intimidation.
I can imagine that the county commissioner just didn’t want to make waves, and didn’t know the law, so he made a call, and some ‘supervisor’ at the leisure center gets the call from the COUNTY COMMISSIONER and of course they are going to abide by their wishes.

Nobody thought about it, nobody knew the law, nobody cared to try to stick up for the voters, so one redneck who knows how to use a cellphone got his 15 minutes.