MINORITY DEUPTY DIES, LOCAL CEMETERY TELLS WIDOW SORRY, WHITES ONLY HERE, NO COLOREDS
So pardon me, but isn’t it the year 2021? As Fletch once said, “Haven’t you ever heard of the Emancipation Proclamation?” Well, I have. I’ve also heard about equal rights, where you can sit on a bus, and I can’t breathe. But to be honest, it took a long time for us all to understand how I can’t breathe isn’t new. It’s the norm. But it still seems that some things can surprise us. Like, remember those photos of drinking fountains from decades ago that had signs over them that said, Whites Only? That is so the past, right? Well, um, no. And one woman in Oberlin, Louisiana just found out the hard way when she went to bury her husband in a local cemetery.
LOUISIANA DOESN’T SEEM TO KNOW THAT RACISM IS STILL UGLY IN 2021, EVEN FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT
Seriously, whites only in 2021? So the man who passed away was one of the Allen Parish Sheriff’s Deputies, Darrell Semien. He’s an African-American. He discovered he had cancer last month and passed away last week. He told his family he wanted to be at the Oaklin Springs Cemetery as it was close to their home. I totally get that. But when his widow Karla Semien approached the cemetery, they said no. Why? Because of their own rules. Their bylaws still say that it’s a Whites Only cemetery. In 2021. And no, they weren’t sorry. In fact, they delivered their explanation without the slightest evidence of shame.
CEMETERY MANAGER WANTS TO CHANGE WHITES ONLY BY-LAWS, BUT THE DAMAGE IS DONE
The woman who explained this to Karla seemed to feel the need to explain even more when Karla just looked at her. She expounded, “There’s no coloreds allowed.” Um, what? You said what? Now I can’t breathe. But it’s because I’m choking on dated, vile bile of my own. The bylaws have been on the books there since, you guessed it, the 1950’s. The employee who’s free with racial slurs seemed to be totally aware of it, though the manager didn’t have any idea. He’s trying to change the by-laws, and is willing to give them a plot as he can’t yet sell them one. But to be honest, it’s the least he could do, as eyes are now on the dated, racist, Oaklin Springs Cemetery in Oberlin, Louisiana.