Pubdate: Tue, 30 Jan 2001
Source: Washington Post (DC)
Copyright: 2001 The Washington Post Company
Contact:  1150 15th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20071
Author: Alan Bean


The Jan. 22 news story on the Tulia, Tex., drug sting gave the impression 
that all of Tulia's white citizens defend the operation while all its black 
citizens decry it.

For months, The Friends of Justice, a Tulia-based multiracial organization, 
was a voice crying in the wilderness until it caught the attention of Nate 
Blakeslee, a journalist who is now editor of the Texas Observer. Mr. 
Blakeslee's award-winning article provided the narrative core for 
subsequent articles in major newspapers.

When Will Harrell, president of the Texas branch of the American Civil 
Liberties Union, announced that his organization was filing a lawsuit 
against the principal actors in the Tulia sting, he was surrounded by 
black, white and Hispanic children sporting Friends of Justice T-shirts. 
The William Moses Kunstler Fund for Racial Justice got wind of the outrage 
unfolding in Tulia because Charles Kiker, a founding member of Friends of 
Justice, contacted the fund.

We're black, we're white and we won't back down until justice rolls down 
like the waters through the parched grassland of Swisher County and 
righteousness flows through tiny Tulia like an ever-flowing stream.

Alan Bean, Co-chair, Friends of Justice, Tulia, Tex.
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