The Wilmington Ten is one of those old radical cases that have been around forever because the left never lets go of them. Now Governor Beverly Perdue has announced that she will pardon the men, none of them still in prison, because of the “naked racism” of the old seventies case.
The naked racism involved in the firebombing of Mike’s Grocery was always on the side of the Wilmington Ten. They were not the victims of racism, they were racists.
Perdue is leaving office and this is her final cowardly kick at North Carolina. “I have decided to grant these pardons because the more facts I have learned about the Wilmington Ten, the more appalled I have become about the manner in which their convictions were obtained,” Perdue, a Democrat who leaves office on Jan. 5, said in her Dec. 31 statement. “Justice demands that this stain finally be removed. The process in which this case was tried was fundamentally flawed. Therefore, as Governor, I am issuing these pardons of innocence to right this longstanding wrong.”
The only real stain on the Wilmington Ten case was how the left politicized it, as they invariably have racist violence from their minority allies.
They came to exploit racial tensions with a campaign of violence. They were sent to prison and then set free through a campaign of political intimidation by leftists who called them political prisoners.
Here is what actually took place from newspaper accounts of the time.
“For three nights in a row, arsonists tried to burn down Mike’s Grocery at 302 South Sixth Street and each time firemen went to the neighborhood they were sniped at.
On Saturday Night, Feb 6, the grocery and three adjacent buildings were leveled as gunfire kept firemen from fighting the blaze. It was during this time that a city policeman was shot in the leg, a minister was wounded in front of Gregory Congregational Church in the sixth and Nun hotbed of activity and a 20-year-old student armed with a shotgun was killed by a city policeman.
The situation, already critical, became grave on Sunday morning when a 57-year-old white man was killed in the 600 block of Nun St.
By 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon Feb 7, the National Guard was on the way in force and a curfew was imposed on the city from 7 30 pm until 6 am the following morning.
Repeated firebombings Sunday night and more sniper fire resulted in the curfew being imposed again on Monday, but that night things were much quieter, although sniper fire continued as firemen went to answer various calls.”
The Wilmington Congregational Church being used as a headquarters by “student” protesters was raided and a sniper’s nest was found inside.
And this was how the trial of Chavis and the gang ended.
Benjamin Franklin Chavis, pastor of the First African Church of the Black Messiah, charismatic black organizer and militant disputed preacher of the African Nationalist Church and co-ordinator of community organization for the Commission for Racial Justice was given a prison term of 25 to 29 years in Superior Court.
But the cries of racism never ceased and so bombing white grocery stores was implicitly legalized, and the Wilmington Ten, like so many other leftist heroes, were transformed into political prisoners and martyrs.