Jasper Police Chief Uses Code Word “Outsider” To Send Message: “Blacks You’re Not Welcome”

Cover16By Darwin Campbell, African-American News&Issues

JASPER-Jasper Police Chief Robert MacDonald is making it clear that he does not like “Outsiders” coming to his town and does not apologize for the fact that they are not welcome.

In a correspondence to Texas Activist and filmmaker Ricky Jason, MacDonald bears his soul on the issue while chastising Jason for his film telling the story about the Life and Death of James Byrd Jr.

“Our community is working together to be united against racism,”MacDonald wrote to Jason. “My biggest complaint is the people from outside Jasper that come into our community to stir up the hatred and bigotry.”

Jason and other freedom fighters contacted were offended by what they consider to be racist innuendo.

“Outsiders not welcome in America,” Jason said. “Is Jasper, Texas part of the United States and are we not citizens in a free country. Last I checked, Jasper is not Moscow or the Ukraine and how dare you disrespect and insult Black people like that by making those kinds of racial comments.”

“Outsiders” is a White Code word used by Whites in the South during the Civil Rights Movement and identified Black freedom fighter groups. Today MacDonald and others like him characterize Jason, Taharka and other freedom fighters in the same manner.

Some of those groups targeted include the New Black Panther Party for Self Defense, the National Black United Front, The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, The Nation of Islam and members of the true Black Press Newspapers because of their willingness to go outside the boundaries of their communities and answer the call of others in distress. These groups constantly fight on the front lines shedding light on racism, injustice and telling the truth about the brutality and attacks going on against Black people at the hands of people who don’t like “Outsiders”.

MacDonald went on to attack freedom fighters efforts to fight for justice with negative comments about “Outsiders”: “You will notice that the locals do not attend these protests because they know the farce that they are.”

That fact is simply not true according to Kofi Taharka, National Chairman of the Black United Front.

Taharka said MacDonald’s words are offensive, typical and demonstrates his true mindset.

“Each time I’ve been to Jasper, Texas regarding James Byrd Jr. or Alfred Wright, the Black people and some Whites have welcomed us with open arms,” Taharka said. “In Both cases, Byrd and Wright, hundreds of local people have come to rallies and protests. It  is good to him (MacDonald) when White folk are in charge.”

MacDonald contended the film misrepresented the town and citizens of Jasper and denied allegations that racism was prevalent in his city.

Jason also offered an even stronger and measured response to McDonald for attacking his character and the motives for his film.

“History speaks to the horrors of racism and how Black have been treated for years in Texas and the South,” Jason said. “James Byrd Jr. was one of those times. From Slavery to freedom, from segregation and Jim Crow Laws to President Barack Obama, it is alive and there is no denying it. Racism is real.”

Jason, who made a documentary of the life of James Byrd Jr hoped that his documentary would bring some healing to a fractured community and usher in a new era of cooperations, peace, harmony and forgiveness among people, but that is yet to occur.

Jason said the documentary, called the “Life and Death of James Byrd Jr.” is available for the world to see on YOUTUBE free of charge.

MacDonald also called Jason out stating:“Ricky Jason, You can be part of the solution instead of making false allegations and be one of those “outsiders” who are perpetuating the problem.”

Jason’s response to the disrespect and sarcasm about the film and attacks to him as a freedom fighter was swift and pointed.

“It is insulting and disrespectful of Jasper Police Chief  Robert MacDonald to approach me speaking so cynical and ignorant about a clearly serious topic,” Jason said. “First let me say respectfully Sir: You are not Black and can never ever speak to the struggles of my ancestors and you are totally not qualified to speak for any Black person living in Jasper, Texas or on the face of planet Earth. So, I offer this candid but true rebuttal to a gentleman whose views about Black people are as limited and ignorant.”

MacDonald believes that there is no racism in Jasper only because “Blacks and Whites work together, congregate together, the students in the school get along with no interracial violence.”

“Does that mean racism is dead,” Jason said. “No it does not. There are still those in Jasper, Texas and the South who have continued to push, promote and teach the kind of intimidation and racism to their offspring. It extends racism to just below the surface and transfers it to the next generation.”

Chief Robert MacDonald Doesn’t Understand that You Can’t Change Historical Facts.

James Byrd Jr.’s Murder is Tragic Truth racism exists and was a defining “Hate Crime” Heard Round the World.

It was June 7, 1998, that James Byrd Jr., 49, saw the sunrise for the final time before his life was cut short at the hands of three White men. His brutal killing served as a painful reminder that racism is very much alive in America and that the potential for terror and the specter of harassment still haunts in small towns across the South.

That fateful day, Byrd found himself on a road near the town of Jasper at night, when a trio of men, Shawn Berry, Lawrence Brewer, and John King, offered him a ride.

According to reports, Byrd and Berry knew each other. However, the friendly gesture eventually turned deadly. Byrd got in the bed of their pick-up truck, but the men did not take him home. Instead, they drove him to a desolate, wooded road east of town.

More specific reports indicate that the men savagely beat Byrd and chained his ankles to the back of the pickup truck Berry was driving, dragging him three miles over asphalt and road and causing severe injuries. Reports go on to say Byrd was said to be conscious during most of the harrowing ordeal, finally dying by way of a decapitation after his body hit a culvert in the road. Berry, Brewer and King drove on for another mile before dumping his torso and the mutilated remains of the body in front of an African-American church and cemetery in Jasper off Huff  Creek Road.

The killers were brought to justice with two receiving the death penalty and one life in prison.

Brewer, one of the killers, was executed on  September 22, 2011 by lethal injection for his role in Byrd’s killing.

Byrd’s tragic death inspired very necessary hate crimes legislation, which was originally enacted in the Texas courts in 2001. His death laid open the vicious horror and after effects of hate and revealed that it was not just a problem isolated to Texas, but is an issue nationwide.

In 2009, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act was signed into law by President Barack Obama and expanded on the 1969 federal hate crime law to include acts motivated by racial, sexual, gender, religious, and ethnic bias.

However, that legislation and conviction has in no way curbed racism or the racist’s appetite to promote hate and intimidate “Outsiders” as they are referred to.

For the 2012 time frame, law enforcement agencies reported 5,796 hate crime incidents involving 6,718 offenses, down from 2011 figures of 6,222 incidents involving 7,254 offenses. Of those, 48.3 percent of the 5,790 single-bias incidents were racially motivated, while 19.6 percent resulted from sexual orientation bias and 19 percent from religious bias.

Jason made it clear the neither he nor any other Black person could take responsibility for 400 years of brutal slavery, 149 years of racism, Jim Crow laws, segregation, countless lynchings and the injustices in Jasper, Texas or other places in the country.

“This is history and James Byrd Jr. happened on Jasper’s watch,” he said. “You will never overcome racism as long as you deny it or fail to admit or face it with truth, honesty and hold yourselves accountable for it. To Chief McDonald, your spoken words are very stupid, ignorant and offensive, but I do forgive you.”

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  1. Jennifer
    June 10, 2014 at 10:18 pm - Reply

    That comment was taken completely out of context. As a native and former Jasper resident, I can understand what he’s saying. I come across people all the time, white & black, that have negative thoughts on Jasper because of unfair media coverage and stories just like this. Those people are “outsiders” looking in just like this person. Don’t make a mountain from a mole hill. There was nothing to extract from that comment other than if you don’t live there then don’t mind their business!

  2. Activist Ricky Jason
    June 11, 2014 at 3:50 am - Reply

    First of all Jennifer, Jasper,Texas will never ever change the town is not for the police chief or the Mayor it’s for everybody outsider too. The world media did a great job on covering Jasper,Texas the coverage is real my documentary is real and James Byrd Jr. dragging was real you can’t cover that up Jennifer, race is real in Jasper,Texas and blacks are not outsiders. Dr. King Died for all of us to have Love.Peace,&Harmmony. Jasper,Texas Police Chief Robert McDonald showed the world his true colors that he is a racist. I don’t hate him for his disrespectful words he said to me and I will pray that his heart will change.

  3. Gayla
    June 11, 2014 at 5:21 am - Reply

    Racism exists today, in Jasper Tx, in Alabama, in Wisconsin, and New York. As a white woman, with an interracial child, I choose to not be a part of the racism, even though I live here. A man saying “outsiders” does not immediately constitute black, Hispanic or Asian decent. Anyone, who is looking for a reason, can take the police chief comments out of context. It seems like ppl in general can’t grasp the concept that the ppl of Jasper both BLACK and WHITE came together to squash this hatred that came about(yes, thru a horrible murder) in 1998 of James Byrd Jr. It’s not the people of Jasper, but the media, through ignorance, that invariably attempts to keep this hatred alive. I refuse to be part of it. Will you, the general public, be silent and allow this idocracy to continue? Will you allow ppl that don’t even live here to define us a a people? I will not. I believe that the people of Jasper are basically good and want what is right and fair. We want to be left alone and not remembered for the horrible events that happened here. Who among you can say you don’t have a past? Does it define you? Is it the essence of you? No. It’s simply a part of your past you learn from and strive to do better. I pray that in my lifetime my son will not be judged for the color of his skin, but the content of his character.

  4. Mechelle Grant
    June 11, 2014 at 4:28 pm - Reply

    Hi everybody i live in Jasper,Texas for 58 years and this town is very racist. we need people on the outside to come in Jasper,Texas.now it’s 2014 Jasper,Texas still the same. RIP Byrd

  5. Tim
    June 11, 2014 at 10:31 pm - Reply

    I was assigned to Jasper during the Katrina event. I was a firefighter attached to FEMA. We had to call out the National Guard to protect us and allow us to set up food, water, & ice stations in particular areas of Jasper. I saw it, lived it, and was shocked that this level of racism exists in America. Yes, I’m white and was unaware. But, my eyes were opened wide during that event

  6. Danny Muhammad
    June 11, 2014 at 10:46 pm - Reply

    I am not surprised by comments of Jasper Police Chief. Simply saying How dare you come and disturb my Niggers. Slave master never wanted Blacks to congregate other than for religious purposes ( the religion as taught by him). He was frightened by The United front of these Organizations. Keep pressing them Bro. Ricky Jason

  7. Juana
    June 12, 2014 at 12:26 am - Reply

    Is sad that racism still exist today..not long a go in Jasper,Texas a life was taking and lost because of racism and hate..rest in peace James Bird Jr. and that your memories dont ever go in vein….the trust is spoken and no one cant denied that..

  8. Brittney
    June 12, 2014 at 1:21 am - Reply

    Yes racism still exist everywhere…but yes someone needs to stand up for what’s fair and what’s right…its 2014 and racism should NOT be tolerated under no circumstances..and no one is an outsider..

  9. Sharon Collins
    June 12, 2014 at 1:35 am - Reply

    Hi I’m not a native of Jasper, but I’ve gone there many of times. The people of Jasper is very racist when I go to the store they don’t speak and they give you a very cold and ugly look. The people in Jasper or still living in the old days they will never change, the police chief McDonald is so racist he needs to be fired. I think all the black people of Jasper need to pack up and leave. RIP to all lynching in Jasper. Thank you Mr. Jason for standing up for what’s right.

  10. sherryl-annette snyder
    June 12, 2014 at 11:25 pm - Reply

    All of us who are concerned need to come together and sit down and break bread together. If we each talk to one another and share our experiences and fears we can see our lives are pretty much the same.
    We all nave common goals and fears and hurts. We have the same need of family and friends. The same desire for love, accptance, and to be needed. We have the most common ailment which is shared by all and that is loneliness.
    But our biggest desire is the safety of our families.

    Beyond that there is no race. It is a flase notion brought about by someone wanting to degrade and use others.
    We are all from tne same source as everything on the earth or in tne universe. Atoms, the building blocks made manifest from energy by the creator. We slap at the creator when we believemone thing or one set of perso mm s is greator I or lesser than another.
    We need to come toget her er for tne God we believe in, or say we do.

  11. Isaiah Price
    June 12, 2014 at 11:58 pm - Reply

    I agree with all my heart that there is still racism going on and I do not see it stopping. Not just down in the south either it is going on in this whole nation.
    As a black man I cannot compare my check to check poverty and slavery. What I can compare is the hatred that we receive now versus the hatred we have always received. RIP James Byrd Jr who was murdered viciously by white men in 1998.
    This is only crime that is reported. Can we imagine what goes under the rug or behind closed doors..?

  12. susan collins
    June 12, 2014 at 11:59 pm - Reply

    I feel this racist bigot should no longer serve on a police force that serves and protects. He is a complete disgrace to our society in which we live today.We are living in a time where racists no longer belong. One love, one country, one God. Please fire this man. He deserves a complete dishonorable discharge!!!

  13. susan collins
    June 13, 2014 at 12:04 am - Reply

    Please join us at Stand up united against racism, gun violence, inequalities-TRAYVON Martin. We are on Facebook and we sign petitions everyday. We’d love to sign one to get this racist pig out of office. My name is Susan C. Collins and I approve this message!!!

  14. Activist Susan C. Collins
    June 13, 2014 at 12:07 am - Reply

    Be at peace….

  15. Activist Susan C. Collins
    June 13, 2014 at 12:09 am - Reply

    This man should be fired!!

  16. Activist Susan C. Collins
    June 13, 2014 at 12:19 am - Reply

    This is man is a disgrace to society in this day and age and any other. He should not be allowed to work a job that is suppose to serve and protect the citizens of Jasper. He is a threat to our children and families. We sign petitions everyday at Stand up United against racism, gun violence,inequalities TRAYVON Martin(Facebook). We’d love to petition this man out of his seat. This is unjust and intolerable and needs to be fixed!!

  17. Activist/Filmmaker Ricky Jason of the award winning doc. Byrd The Life & Tragic Death Of James Byrd Jr.
    June 14, 2014 at 12:03 am - Reply

    i pray for the people of Jasper,texas

  18. Activist/Filmmaker Ricky Jason of the award winning doc. Byrd The Life & Tragic Death Of James Byrd Jr.
    June 14, 2014 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    i pray for Jasper,Texas

  19. AllPeople Gifts
    July 6, 2014 at 10:16 pm - Reply

    This article — and the FALSE accusation
    (based on nothing more than conjecture)
    that is a part of it — is total nonsense.
    It is NO ONES JOB to make sure that they
    are afraid to use totally NEUTRAL TERMS
    because some member or two of some group
    or another is BENT ON “taking everything
    the wrong way” and making an issue out of
    a matter that is in NO WAY “controversial”.
    Whoever wrote this nonsensical article
    should be exposed as being nothing more
    than a pathetic “race-baiter” who allows
    their own low self-esteem to cause them
    to (#1) expect everyone on the planet
    to ‘soothe’ their baseless fears and to
    (#2) expect those who do not obey (#1)to
    be ‘punished’ based on false accusations.
    What a load to crud this article truly is.
    Also — speaking of the history of ‘Jasper’
    and other towns in the United States —
    perhaps the links below may be of interest.
    – AP Gifts
    AllPeopleGifts AT Gmail DOT com

  20. christian b.
    July 8, 2014 at 5:35 am - Reply

    I have family in Jasper who have always been community leaders in my opinion (not elected officials, however) Black folks and white folks bet along better in Jasper than ANYWHERE I’ve been in most of Eastern Texas, better than most of rural areas in Georgia or in Florida where I’ve also lived. Schools are integrated but black kids just don’t have the financial resources in many cases to get the hell out of the rural shit box cities where they were in grade school. The white kids run off to college and never come back leaving nothing but poor uneducated everyone. Not good.

    I’m sure Mr. Macdonald isn’t quite the big racist as you seem to make him out to be. I remember as a kid his name on every tacky mobile home running cars off the roads and highways. Jasper kids get along because they excel in sports namely football. I”m pretty certain the Mayor is uneducated and a probably a very brainwashed nutty Christian. I’d bet he goes to a white only church and no black neighbors. When people don’t live in neighborhoods that are integrated nothing changes. That is my take on Jasper, Texas. If you think Jasper is bad head up to Mt. Enterprise and meet some of that bunker building kooky Christian crowd. Fred Phelps has plenty of supporters from that area ready to take over his unchristian hate campaings. Yuck to East Texs! It’s only asset is Sam Rayburn Lake.

    Having a connection to Jasper the news of Byrd hit me like the day Matthew Shepard hit the news. You have to ask just what the hell is wrong with these people. They sure do hate considering they wear Jesus on their sleave.

    Thankful I left East Texas the day after high school. When people ask where in Texas I grew up I only state Austin. Love Austin and glad to be here.

  21. Activist/Filmmaker Ricky Jason of the award winning doc. Byrd The Life & Tragic Death Of James Byrd Jr.
    July 8, 2014 at 10:29 pm - Reply

    Jasper,Texas Police Chief Robert Mcdonald Can’t Fix His Mouth Right Yes He Said It He Should Be Shame But HE Not God Help This Sick Man Jasper ,Texas is A Bad Town For Any Family To Live In And BE Happy.

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