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  • Writer's pictureDonald V. Watkins

A Personal Message to the Vicious Critics of Carlee Russell

Updated: Aug 17

By: Donald V. Watkins

Copyrighted and Published on July 22, 2023

IMAGE: Carlee Russell

This is a personal message to the vicious critics of Carlee Russell. It takes no courage to publicly berate a young, distraught woman whose tragic personal experience is subject to more than one interpretation.

Show me some real courage by taking a direct, firm, and public stand against the present-day forces of "in-your-face" racism, subjugation, and failed leadership in Alabama:

1. Publicly criticize the all-white, 19-judge Alabama appellate court system in a state that is 26% black. Criticize the Confederate flag-waving Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. If you are a black lawyer with expertise in litigating civil and criminal cases, lead the effort to desegregate Alabama’s all-white appellate courts. This will tell me whether you have “balls” or you are just a talker.

2. Publicly criticize the federal, state, and local officials who failed to force six industrial polluters to clean up the toxic pollutants that have been killing the innocent men, women, and children who have lived in North Birmingham and the city of Tarrant since 1933.

3. Publicly criticize Walter Coke (which is now Bluestone Coke), U.S. Pipe, Alagasco, KMAC, ABC Coke, and the Drummond Company for knowingly polluting the air and ground in North Birmingham and the city of Tarrant since at least 1933.

4. Publicly criticize the failure of federal, state, and local law enforcement and government agencies to protect the lives of the 4,000 or more residents of North Birmingham and Tarrant from a slow, painful death from environmental pollutants in their neighborhoods.

5. Publicly criticize Jefferson County, Alabama Circuit judge Tamara Johnson, who is shielding the misconduct of the Drummond Company and Balch & Bingham law firm in the Oliver Robinson bribery case from public view for no good and valid reason. While you are at it, take a close look at Judge Johnson’s largest campaign contributors and tell me what they have in common.

6. Publicly criticize Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall and his Republican political allies for continuing to overtly discriminate against black voters by racially gerrymandering the state’s newest Congressional redistricting map.

7. Publicly criticize the complete lack of an economic empowerment agenda for African Americans in Alabama by the federal, state, and local government officials. This is one of the many reasons Birmingham is dying.

8. Publicly criticize the fact that black state and local officials in the Birmingham metro-area fought harder to save Birmingham Southern College than they have ever fought for any HBCU in Alabama. Interestingly, Birmingham Southern is shown on the chart below that was prepared by Balch & Bingham in 2015. Birmingham Southern one of the many entities that the Southern Company, Alabama Power, U.S. Pipe, Alagasco, KMAC, ABC Coke, and the Drummond Company reportedly relied upon to suppress the environmental justice rights of the residents of North Birmingham and Tarrant.

9. Publicly criticize U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Alabama) for jeopardizing the readiness of America’s armed forces with his ignorant political hold on promotions within the top military command and control structure.

10. Publicly criticize Alabama’s legendary practice of engaging in the mass incarceration of African-American and poor white criminal offenders. This practice amounts to a legal form of modern-day slavery.

Carlee Russell's critics should grow some “balls” and publicly attack one of the many conditions that is killing the future of African-Americans, poor whites, women, and children in Alabama. They are plentiful. Their silence on the ten matters listed above is deafening.

As I watch the people who are throwing spitballs at Carlee Russell, I am reminded that none of them has EVER been on the frontline of any fight for civil rights, environmental justice, social justice, or constitutional rights in Alabama.

For the most part, Carlee Russell's critics are spitball throwers and social media pundits. The only "target" they are comfortable enough to publicly attack is a distraught young woman who needs our empathy, love, and support at this time.

If these critics need to somebody to pick on right now, let it be me. Please beware, I tend to hit back -- very hard. Just ask Howard Koplowitz.

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