Good O' Boy Roundup Report - March, 1996

d) Minority experiences at the Roundup

Some minorities, however, did participate in the Roundup. Their experiences varied. Cordell Malone testified that when he arrived at the Roundup in 1995, Rightmyer approached and said how glad he was that Malone had finally come to the Roundup and if Malone had any problems or needed anything, he should come directly to Rightmyer. In addition, substantial evidence exists that Rightmyer gave a few speeches in some years telling the attendees that minorities were welcome. After a group of local police officers confronted Jack Scott over the presence of blacks at the 1995 Roundup, for example, Rightmyer personally confronted the officers and told them that blacks were welcome at the Roundup and they could leave if they did not like it.

Malone and Robert Goldston indicated that they felt welcome at the Roundup despite the actions of a few attendees. Neither believed the Roundup was a racist event, and both felt that the incident where some persons used a racial epithet was isolated. A person of Cuban descent who attended the 1995 Roundup said he did not feel anyone treated him differently because of his heritage. A Filipino-American not only attended eight Roundups, but also served as a MOB member for a number of those years. He told us he had always felt welcome and enjoyed the Roundup.

These feelings were not, however, universal. As reported previously, an African American police officer from Athens, Tennessee, reported feeling uncomfortable at the 1995 Roundup because people were staring at him, and one person made a racially insensitive remark in his presence. One Hispanic FBI agent who attended in the early 1990s expressed a similar sentiment. [ / Some of his discomfort, however, may have also been attributable to the fact that he was an FBI agent. We spoke to some white FBI agents who attended who indicated that they were taunted and criticized because of their affiliation with the Bureau. Thus, there may be non-racial factors causing discomfort to certain attendees. ] Furthermore, both Malone and Goldston left the 1995 Roundup after the Fort Lauderdale men confronted Jack Scott over bringing Malone and Goldston to the Roundup. Goldston, however, reported that he remained for some time at the Roundup after the incident and did not leave because of it.