The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Monday, June 25, 2007

Bessemer Rallies and Wal-Mart Backslides

I am going to continue my advocacy for safer streets and less guns in Bessemer, especially since a local television station declared Dartmouth Avenue the most dangerous street in the state. I have written about Josh Hughes (scroll down to the second half of this post, where you see Western Tribune in bold) and about the other recent killings on my street on both this blog and in The Western Tribune. On Saturday a rally against violence was held on Dartmouth near where the killings took place.

On Sunday ABC 33/40 was on my block preparing to cover a story of another rally, occurring today, Monday, at 7:00 pm, at Broken Vessel Full Gospel Church on Dartmouth Avenue. Pastor Moulton told me that Mayor Ed May and Councilmember Earl Cochran are expected to be at this rally and that 33/40 will be back to cover it. I am hoping that the police department will be present to explain what they are doing (?) to curb violence.

If you live on or near Dartmouth, or anywhere in Bessemer for that matter, you are encouraged to attend this rally. Safety in Bessemer affects us all. Crime affects our city morale, our property values, our willingness to enjoy being outdoors, and other’s opinions of us. Hope to see you there.

My willingness to spend money at Wal-Mart is on a rollercoaster. There are so many reasons not to, but when they offered support to GLBT employees and joined the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce a year ago, I became more likely to support them. Now, folding to pressure from conservative “Christian” groups they are rescinding their support.

I thought the company was moving in the right direction," one Wal-Mart employee wrote in an e-mail to Fortune. "But last week changed everything. Pulling funding from GLBT organizations is a slap in the face to gay employees, and it sends a very clear message. Diversity within Wal-Mart is only partially inclusive." Article

To me it is one thing if a company has never addressed the issue of gay rights, but when one signals acceptance and then reverses their policy, I agree, it is a slap in the face. I’m not saying I will not ever shop there; in fact there is something I have already planned to go and get. After all, they are still working to educate employees on GLBT issues, and support their gay personnel. But I just might increase my likelihood of Target shopping, and it won’t be long until Target and Publix are both in Bessemer according to the sign visible from I-459 near Eastern Valley Road.

And, if you have not read about Billy Gafnea's death in 1956, click here. This case needs to be reopened, if nothing else, exhume the body and determine the real cause of death!

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