It was a small rally, but the speakers made some pretty strong points.
After all, the crowd had come out to rally against "racial discrimination." Racial discrimination in Florida's only black majority county in 2011. Just the idea seems strangely out of date and out of touch with what we like to think of as modern America. Even the advance flyers for the event sounded like they could have been printed for the last century.
But now we have a high profile lawsuit, or several hanging on that very serious allegation.
And as one rally speaker said, it brings back the past -- the '50s, the '60s -- those dark decades when racial discrimination was the norm. "We've stood against social injustice before,"
But you did not have to know your history to realize this is an area of personal freedoms where in the event of any infringements, people quickly lose tolerance, especially for their public officials.
No, just keeping up with current events would do, as another speaker compared what was happening in Gadsden County to what is going on in many other countries where citizens are tired of being treated badly. They are throwing their leaders out.
As for the lawsuit filed by Arkeba Bouis and James Southerland, it seemed everyone at the rally was familiar with at least parts of it, sad, disturbing charges that may tarnish Gadsden County's image for years, whle keeping Florida's election processes suspect.
The demonstrators demanded nothing less that the dismissal of Gadsden County Administrator Johnny Williams, the stepping down of Gadsden County Commissioner Doug Croley and possible removal of other complicit board members by Gov. Rick Scott if necessary. And of course the restoring of jobs lost by actions cited in the lawsuit.
They want and may already have an investigation by the Department of Justice.
They have also succeeded in galvanizing the NAACP into some sort of show of organization and strength in the Panhandle. The organization has made it clear it will not back down on this and Gadsden County residents have an ally.
So Is there a proper course left for the county to take at this point? Or will any reasonable action by anyone have to be avoided so as not to jeopardize their own legal standing.