Why is the city of Montgomery condemning the property of African-Americans along a civil rights trail?

The law, lawyers, and the court.
Sept. 17 2010 9:59 AM

Blight Fight

Why is the city of Montgomery condemning the property of African-Americans along a civil rights trail?

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After the hearing in April, Beito's committee asked the U.S. Civil Rights Commission to launch a full investigation into the Montgomery demolitions. A decision about that is probably several months away. Jones isn't waiting. She lost a bid Tuesday for the Montgomery City Council but has started an activist group devoted to helping homeowners whose properties have been condemned. At last month's rally, sponsored by the Institute for Justice, tradtionally right-leaning property rights activists mingled with civil rights leaders and a representative from the NAACP.

Karen Jones isn't Rosa Parks. But Montgomery's tone-deaf pattern of condemning black-owned properties along a commemorative trail that winds through Parks' own neighborhood does evoke the lesson of Parks' legacy: There's dignity in resisting injustice, even if you're likely to lose.

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Radley Balko is a senior editor for Reason magazine.

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