Good O' Boy Roundup Report - March, 1996

b) Allegations of persons checking
cars for "niggers"

It was also alleged that persons located near the checkpoint sign asked people driving through the campground whether there were "any niggers in the car." Similar conduct was reported outside the entrance to the campground.

(i) Evidence

On the same day the "Nigger check point" sign was posted, several attendees recalled either seeing or hearing of persons who stopped cars as they came into the campground and asked if there were any "niggers" inside. One witness said it was a group of males standing near where the checkpoint sign was posted. He thought they were from Alabama. Two other witnesses were together in a motor home as it pulled into the campground when a lone "long-haired" male with a full beard approached the motor home and asked, "Are any niggers in there?" When they responded in the negative, the individual said, "Well, come on in." This occurred outside the campground. They said they did not know who this person was.

Another witness, from the Boone County group, told us he had heard people calling out, even after the checkpoint sign was taken down, "There's no niggers in that car." He said he did not know who was responsible. He did say, however, that at night he and his colleagues had big campfires at their camp with fifty to sixty people gathered around, and, to his knowledge, none in that group engaged in such activities.

(ii) OIG findings

We conclude that some persons at the 1990 Roundup approached vehicles and asked whether any "niggers" were inside. We could not determine, however, who was responsible for such actions. The person identifying the responsible parties as being from Alabama did not have a clear basis for saying so, other than that the "check point" sign was located adjacent to the campsite of a group from that state. It is also quite possible that the persons who posted the sign were responsible for stopping vehicles in this manner.

The only physical description of a participant in this behavior is of the person with long hair and a beard who was outside the campground entrance. This description resembles that of local river raft guides who live in the campground during the rafting season. But some law enforcement officers who work undercover also have long hair and beards, so they cannot be ruled out, either.

No one apparently reported this conduct to Rightmyer or otherwise tried to stop it. Rightmyer said he was not aware of it, and we found no evidence to the contrary. Only 5 of the more than 200 persons interviewed about the 1990 Roundup recalled such conduct, a fact that establishes that the conduct took place but tends to suggest it was not pervasive.