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Just off a street corner in Mobile, Alabama, a historic marker spells out the grisly details of Richard Robertson’s 1909 lynching. The real story told between its embossed metallic lines is about a community’s death grip on mythology and why these memorials are needed.

For nearly a year, the Mobile County Community Remembrance Project (MCCRP) has fought to control the Robertson plaque’s location.

Paid for by the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI)—a Montgomery-based non-profit providing legal defense for wrongful prosecution and bringing awareness to historic race-based injustices—the $3,000 marker was the first in a planned series memorializing the county’s race-based lynching victims from 1877-1950. Twice now, MCCRP has navigated the required governmental processes to install the Robertson marker in public, with each of two selected sites thwarted by official powers at the last moment.

After a protracted civic fight, it was eventually placed in an obscure spot chosen without MCCRP’s approval—where it stands today.

    Critics have questioned the memorial’s necessity, deeming it divisive. “Does this represent who we are now?” they ask. However, judging from the tone and substance of the pushback, elements of the lynching era might not be as bygone as they wish.


    Robertson was a Black man accused of killing a white sheriff’s deputy in January 1909. A mob pulled him from jail into the street where he was shot, then hanged. His body dangled from an oak tree for at least an hour afterward. When a federal attorney determined lax law enforcement ignored ample warning of the imminent lynching, Mobile’s sheriff lost his job.

    Despite his scandalous demise, most Mobilians don’t know Robertson’s name. He is, however, enshrined at EJI’s National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama—a monument for roughly 4,400 lynched Black Americans.

    EJI sparked county-level observance, too, with markers erected by local groups nationwide. Like similar memorials in South Africa and Germany, the goal is to cultivate awareness and mindful caution. Over 300 active coalitions have arisen in communities across the country with monuments erected in 20 states.

    Mobile County Commissioner Merceria Ludgood—the only Black person on the commission—convened the MCCRP in 2019, the same month as the 110th anniversary of Robertson’s death. The group laid out EJI’s vision and met public sector requirements to install historic markers.

    They were diligent and mindful. I know because I witnessed their process. A year prior to the group’s formation, I researched all of the lynching victims from Mobile County that are listed by EJI—Zachariah Graham, Richard Robinson, Will Thompson, Moses Dossett, Robertson, William Walker, and James Lewis. That’s why my curiosity was piqued, and my input sought.

    I also knew MCCRP would meet resistance. Local culture is invested in a self-image of Mobile as “better” in race relations than other Alabama towns—more evolved than deadly places like Birmingham, Selma, and Anniston.

    That perception stemmed from the 20th century civil rights work of Black Mobilian John LeFlore. He is enshrined with a public statue alongside white Mobile politico Joe Langan. One of three city commissioners from 1953-1969, Langan's more inclusive perspective helped desegregate facilities and hire a handful of Black police officers.

    But even LeFlore recognized Mobilians’ fables. In 1970, he said, “We believe the matter of Mobile being unsurpassed…in good race relations is a myth.” He praised federal powers and civil rights actions that took place in cities like Selma, Birmingham, and Montgomery—which “eased our situation” and created “a favorable sort of climate that would not have otherwise existed.”

    Mobile would always be a former Creole frontier town made fantastically notable by King Cotton. The antebellum era and Jim Crow sentiments were foundational to its relevance. And its legacy of lynching can’t be swept under the rug of history.

    In 1906, Mobile mobs threatened Will Thompson and Dick Robinson—two Black prisoners accused of assault—to the point authorities moved them to Birmingham for safekeeping. Immediately afterward, a catastrophic hurricane struck. Newspaper headlines read, “NEGROES LOOTING HOMES OF DEAD” and blamed Black Mobilians for theft and corpse mutilation.

    Days later, a lynch party of hundreds met the train that returned Thompson and Robinson to Mobile for trial. One vigilante told the accompanying press his colleagues were “leading businessmen of Mobile.” They admitted lynching was undertaken outside city limits to intentionally avoid leaving “a stain upon Mobile that would take years to wipe out,” the Daily Item, a long defunct area newspaper, reported.

    The mob marched the prisoners toward Africatown, a community of independent-minded Blacks, descendants of captives from the nation’s final slaving ship. On its outskirts, the crowd killed the prisoners. The victims hung in the trees from midday to afternoon while thousands of Mobilians streamed northward on the streetcars to gawk at the grisly spectacle. Postcard photos were snapped. Souvenirs were nicked from the victims. (A year later, Moses Dossett was hanged from the same tree in a driving storm.)

    Less than three years later, Lynch law was clearly in the air when Robertson was delivered to jail, accused of killing a sheriff’s deputy. In short order, the mob dragged him into the street and murdered him. His murder’s direct negation of law enforcement, plus its location at the heart of downtown, made it both unseemly and unignorable—all of which made it a natural choice for MCCRP’s initial plaque, to draw attention to oncoming memorials.

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    Tags: fever dreams pets sheriff’s deputy lynching victims accused of killing law enforcement into the street the lynching race relations the prisoners mobile county the robertson robertson will thompson civil rights thompson and mindful the victims the victims

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    OnlyFans bribed Meta staff to put porn stars on TERRORIST watchlist so they were shadow banned from Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, lawsuit claims

    OnlyFans has been accused of bribing Facebook-owner Meta to get thousands of porn stars on a terrorist watchlist.

    Adult film stars claim owner Leonid Radvinsky paid staff from the rival firm to shadow ban them so they were exclusive to the site.

    They argue their photos and videos were falsely flagged as containing terrorist content on social media which impacted their cash flow.

    Their claims come in one of a mountain of lawsuits against OnlyFans from enraged stars arguing it had caused them financial harm.

    In all, their lawyers claim they have a list of 21,000 Instagram accounts that had been unfairly branded as potential terrorists.

    Adult film actress Alana Evans, who is one of the plaintiffs, claimed in the lawsuit she had been slapped on the watchlist

    Adult film stars claim owner Leonid Radvinsky paid staff from the rival firm to shadow ban them so they were exclusive to the site

    Adult film actress Alana Evans, who is one of the plaintiffs, claimed in the lawsuit she had been slapped on the watchlist.

    She said she was among those whose account was placed in a database run by the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism.

    She told the New York Post: 'When I heard that my content may be listed on the terror watch list, I was outraged.

    'I was angry because it affected my income when my social media traffic dropped significantly, and I was angry because I am the daughter of a veteran who fought for this country.'

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    The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, a nonprofit, was set up to prevent mass shooting videos and other extremist material ending up on social media.

    The alleged move means pictures of models in bikinis on social media would have been flagged as jihadist propaganda across different platforms.

    The names allegedly being added to the list was said to have seen a plunge in traffic visiting their pages on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

    Evans said she was among those whose account was placed in a database run by the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism

    The lawsuit also claims firms, celebrities and other influencers had been targeted despite 'having nothing to do with terrorism'.

    The claimants argue their accounts had been hit from October 2018 when they claim OnlyFans bribed one or more Meta worker.

    They say in the suit the money was funneled from OnlyFans' parent company Fenix International to a secret Hong Kong subsidy where it was sent into bank accounts in the Philippines that were set up by the employees.

    They argued the move saw a 'massive spike in content classification/filtering activity' on other social media sites - but they had a 'mysterious immunity' on OnlyFans.

    Lawyers acting for JustFor.Fans, which filed its own class action against OnlyFans in California state court in August, said it helped the website grow.

    The site, which is a rival to OnlyFans, said in court documents: 'The blacklisting of plaintiff and others has caused OnlyFans to achieve a drastically enlarged market share while its competitors stagnated or declined.

    'The defendants engaged in a scheme to misuse a terrorist blacklist to obtain a competitive advantage.'

    Another, FanCentro, also filed a suit in Broward county in Florida against OnlyFans but not Meta.

    Meta requested the lawsuit against it be chucked out in June, but hearings are scheduled for September.

    Meta requested the lawsuit against it be chucked out in June, but hearings are scheduled for September

    Milberg Coleman Bryson Phillips Grossman is representing the plaintiffs against Meta and OnlyFans in California superior court.

    Partner David Azar said Meta and the GIFCT should 'open up' their records 'to help figure out whether our clients or their content are indeed on any databases intended for terrorists, and how to get them off'.

    In a statement to The Post, OnlyFans said, 'We are aware that these cases have been filed.

    'We are not aware of any evidence which supports these allegations. The alleged participants have all publicly stated that these cases have no merit.'

    Meta did not respond to requests for comment but told the BBC, which first reported the bribery allegations, that it had investigated and found no evidence the terror database had been abused.

    Meta said: 'These allegations are without merit and we will address them in the context of the litigation as needed.'

    The GIFCT told the BBC earlier this year it was 'not aware of any evidence to support the theories presented in this lawsuit between two parties with no connection to GIFCT'.

    A spokesman added: 'Our continuing work to enhance transparency and oversight of the GIFCT hash-sharing database is the result of extensive engagement with our stakeholders and has no connection to these claims.'

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    • OnlyFans bribed Meta to put porn stars on terror watchlist: lawsuits

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