Something is very wrong in the Land of Cotton



Dr. Robert Bullard
Environmental Justice Movement Founder

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Politicians Behaving Badly With Prejudice--John Wiley Price & Albert Turner, Jr.

Two stories of public malversation with the race card thrown down in the ugly game of local politics from rural Alabama to Texas.

Dallas County, Texas--In a Dallas County Commissioners Court meeting on Tuesday Feb 15th citizens were upset about the "controversial departure" of a county Elections Administrator who had been on the job for 24 years. They suspected that the administrator had been "forced out" by Commissioner John Wiley Price and a Dallas County Judge in what is rumored to be a power grab by Price.

Tensions run high in this part of Texas along racial lines on both sides of color, but Mr. Price's behavior in a public meeting with the press and numerous citizens present was reprehensible. We expect much more of our elected officials than to descend into race-based attacks on the citizens they represent and clear prejudice in the public eye, whatever their skin color.

Did this incident quickly descend into the gutter of racism because of a misunderstanding by Price in what the citizen, Mr. Turner, meant when he referred to him as "Chief Mullah" or was it simply the removal of civility and a glimpse into what Mr. Price is as a man? 

After Mr. Turner repeated the phrase a few more times, Price responded with: "All of you are white. Go to Hell." 

Here's some of the exchange that was all caught on video by a CBS affiliate in DFW:
The last public speaker at Tuesday’s meeting, Jeff Turner, began by stating that he would refer to “a certain member of the court” — Price — as “the Chief Mulllah of Dallas County.”
Court rules state that public speakers may not address individual commissioners by name.
As Turner spoke, he continued to call Price “Chief Mulllah.” Price interrupted Turner several times, yelling at him, “don’t call me Chief Mulllah” and “call me by my name.”
Mr. Turner explains in an audio clip on the link, that he was using the term to describe a man who wants control over everything in reference to areas of Afghanistan that are under the complete control of Mullahs, and that he was not using the reference as a racial disparity. Mr. Price, it seems, from reading other news stories on Dallas County politics, has developed a reputation as a controller and the citizens are tired of it. Kind of sounds like Perry County, Alabama and Albert Turner, Jr. doesn't it? He's coming up next.

Back to excerpts of the Dallas story:
The New Oxford American Dictionary defines “mullah” as “a Muslim learned in Islamic theology and sacred law.”
Turner continued speaking, ignoring Price’s ongoing interruptions.
At that point, Jenkins adjourned the meeting.
As Price stood to leave, he looked at Turner and the five other citizens who addressed the court. Price said to them, “All of you are white.  Go to hell!”
Price repeated “go to hell” three more times. An unknown member of the audience said, “You should be ashamed!”
“I’m not ashamed!” Price answered. “I’m not ashamed! Go to hell!”
The madness continued after the meeting was abruptly adjourned, and Dallas County is now further divided by this unfortunate throw-down of the race card. Who's to blame in this? Is this a race and behavior debate, or is something else being missed altogether? Is the bigger problem what's really going on under the surface in Dallas County, and an honest discussion of the issue of one politician exerting too much control over many the real debate that should be happening? 
Reader decide.

Perry County, Alabama--On February 4th the Perry County Commission (PCC) gathered for a meeting that quickly descended into the Albert Turner, Jr. show of bully extraordinaire on the loose. Like Mr. Price, Turner has control issues and his mantra is 'my way or the highway,' or in this instance, we don't agree so you don't get to participate.

There's so much wrong in Perry County it would take a book four inches thick to tell it all, but the biggest problem in Perry County is Albert Turner, Jr. who's been the subject of earlier posts by us, and a few press outlets that are not afraid to call him what he is--a man with a racial chip on his shoulder almost equal to the size of his ego, that runs Perry County like his own personal kingdom.

intolerance and corruption define the politics of Perry County with Mr. Turner swaggering around as a mohair-suited walking weapon of mass destruction on fairness and accountability, especially where he's concerned. 

Similar to the citizens in Dallas County,Texas, Perry Countians are tired of living under one man's tyrannical rule.

Brett Harrison is a member of the PCC and as such he has a right and duty to be present at any meeting of the PCC. Mr. Harrison is also a party in the lawsuit against Mr. Turner by the Impact Group who are having to sue PCC president Mr. Turner, for access to what should be open public records, and for holding past questionable meetings in violation of the Open Meetings Act. In this February meeting, Turner sought to punish Mr. Harrison for being part of the lawsuit and wanted him out of any discussions about it. 

Mr. Harrison seems to be the only one on the PCC who is trying to bring some sanity into the fray and realizes that what the commission is doing on many fronts are blatant violations of Alabama's Sunshine Law (ASL) regarding meetings and public records. 

Every member of the PCC stands to get into some serious trouble if this nonsense masquerading as government does not follow the laws. Joining the lawsuit to produce the public records may be strictly a self-preservation move on Harrison's part, but it's the right thing to do for obvious reasons.

In what may be a placating move, the PCC voted to use county funds to pay for Commissioner Harrison's legal fees arising from the lawsuit and Harrison himself voted against it. Another wise move on his part. He's giving the appearance of doing what he can to follow ethics guidelines and comply with the ASL.

Unlike Mr. Turner, who strong-armed the PCC into allowing county funds to pay for his defense against an assault charge and the pending civil case against him. No documents have been produced about who the law firm is and what fees the unnamed firm will charge to defend him. Turner, full of his usual bravado, publicly dares anyone to apply Alabama's Sunshine Law to him and relishes in the fact that he is above all scrutiny and questioning. 

Or so he deludes himself to believe because of his 'friends' in high places.
Details of the assault charge:
Albert Turner Jr. Guilty of Harassment

Judge Lynn Bright found Albert Turner Jr. guilty of harassment in Perry County District Court Wednesday, March 30th. 2005.
Turner was originally charged with Assault III, but the lesser charge was applied after the probable cause hearing showed conflicting testimony as to what actually happened. According to the complaining witness, Vinnie Royster, Turner attacked her during a meeting with other Perry County Commissioners regarding comments made by Turner in a radio broadcast the previous Sunday. Turner, while promoting the proposed landfill in Uniontown, referred to those black citizens that opposed the landfill as "hanky-head ******s". 
As Royster played a recording of the broadcast for Commissioner Johnny Flowers and others, Turner came into the room and started yelling at Royster; poking her in the chest. Royster poked Turner back, then according to Royster "the next thing I knew, he hit me with his fist". Turner then reportedly grabbed Royster around the throat, and held her to the ground until other commissioners and two deputies pulled him off of her. Royster had to leave the meeting in an ambulance.
Turner was ordered to pay a fine of $400, court costs, and restitution to be worked out at a later date. He's stated he will appeal the case to Circuit Court, where he wants his case heard before a jury.
It was an ugly incident that happened in full public view of many witnesses. Turner can't hide from what he did and what it implies he is, but he's trying with a little help from his special 'friends.'

Turner is well-connected politically, and there isn't any doubt in our minds that he enjoys protection from certain elected representatives and a state senator or two, (one of whom just happens to have a law firm), along with certain minority religious groups that are more political action committees than they are organizations of Godly men.

That's becoming a recurring theme in Alabama that is beyond reprehensible, and it's  ushering in a new form of acceptable slavery that is overseen by black masters of influence, in conjunction with a few equally well-connected white devils, who aid and abet their dirty deeds against their own.

It's all about the money and the control and it does not matter how they get it as long as they do. But if you raise any questions about their shenanigans, they quickly throw down the race card to avoid letting you see what cards they're really holding.

It's become a very effective tool for less than honorable men to bluff their way through their political careers, playing the game of lowball poker with gusto, having learned that personal profit and political influence are a winning hand for poor behavior.

What the actions of both of these men show us, is not only the consequences of too much power in one man's hands, they also call our attention to a bigger problem-- that honest and open debate of the race issues that continue to plague us as a society, are immediately folded when the race card is dealt.

 So Say We The Opinion Board of the Vincent Alabama Confidential

*Additional link on Turner and his pig-in-poke idea regarding a local hotel in the area. Seems to us that there weren't a lot of sharp minds in attendance with this idea and the almost comical way it played out.
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  1. Racism sucks on all levels no matter what or what color is involved in it.
    But what's becoming worse is the corruption of our political system that allows men like, Turner, Price and Mississippi Gov Barbour to gain so much power in politics.
    From their political positions, they make decisions that affect so many people that their bad decisions blanket entire communities and states.
    I agree that when some of them are caught they hide behind the race issue and when they do that, they commit a further sin by negating the seriousness of race discussions.
    It's a never ending vicious cycle that, in my opinion, has a lot more to do with bankrupt character and greed than it does race.
    Race is just a convenient excuse to not answer hard questions and be accountable.
    Our political system as it is breeds these types of politicians so fast that rabbits are envious.

    This from a sister who doesn't drink the Kool-aid!

  2. Some things you have to see and hear to believe.

    I did and I still don't believe it.

    Turner and Price must be related.

  3. On Parker:
    He was looking for a fight. You can see it in his body language, facial expression and attitude.
    The citizen did not make a racial disparity, if anything it would be a religious disparity, and even that's a reach, since Mullah is not a disparaging word so much as a defining term.
    Parker went even further by calling one man "fat boy" as he was leaving.
    Had the citizen called Parker by his name, he could have been shut down because he would have violated the rules that state: Commissioners cannot be addressed by name."

    On Turner:
    Turner is an avowed racist and if you ask him he'll tell you that in not so may words, or if you catch him in one of his moods, it will be painfully obvious. He's even called his own people the N-word and "hanky heads."
    You're dead on about his protectors and Sen. Hank Sanders is among them.

    I'm going to agree with Ria, this is more about political corruption and bad behavior than it is race, and how often do we see bad behavior play the race card?

    A lot more than we should.

    Good story Max, you're taking on an issue that could be viewed by some as a hot potato, but you did it fairly and with a lot of thought.

  4. Perry County had the Dept. of Justice on them in 2008 for the summer primary election, but no reports were ever released despite calls for them.
    The voter fraud that goes on in the county is legendary.

  5. You're right about that one Beth, and it has been going on under black leadership and I say that simply as fact, not as a specific hit at any one group of people.

    AG Criticizes Justice Dept. In Voter Fraud

    Shelby County Alabama re-drew their voting district lines a few years ago in favor of the very white Spencer Bachus.

    Our new government in Alabama is almost all white with the governor's administration having only one woman and one person of color in it.

    Race has no place in politics, but it's there just the same, and it is very worthy of discussion.

  6. Good grief!!!

    Two of the worst examples of thugs r us I have seen in long, long time....
    How in the world do we get people like this elected?

  7. I apologize for not coming up with a better term as an analogy, but this behavior is street thug like in it's arrogance.
    Any politician who can behave this way, in public no less, does not deserve to be in office for another millisecond. And they do not deserve to be defended by any group of persons who rely on donations and federal, state monies of community government funds as part of their operating revenue!
    There is no defense for these actions period.


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