“Shh-that’s not what it means,” he said, “It means white people can get a drink here.”
“What are you talking about? This is the courthouse-are you telling me black people can’t get a drink here?”
“That’s right. Now shut up before a cop hears you.”
“Where do black people get a drink? I’m going to drink from that fountain.”
“Are you crazy? You better learn how to be quiet. Do you know who the sheriff is?”
The sheriff in Lake County was Willis Virgil McCall, a good ole boy and serial murderer of black prisoners for 21 years. Everybody knew he was a murderer and after awhile he got so outrageous, I remember hearing the FBI was investigating. “Good,” I said, “I hope they get him.” They did not. He lived a long time and died in his bed and went to hell on April 28, 1994.
Sorry. I don’t know if he went to hell, that’s not my call. I was just thinking of another county official who told me there were no black people in heaven. I was an atheist at that time, but I thought his theology was off. “What if there are black people in heaven?” I asked him. “Then I don’t want to go there,” he said.
Now unarmed black folk are being shot to death by police and nice white folk doubt that it has anything to do with racism-because they never saw that “white only” sign at the courthouse, they never heard a county official say he’d rather go to hell than live in heaven with black folk and they never lived under the Reign of Terror of Willis Virgil McCall.