Don’t Look Now…

…or you’ll miss it.

I saw the link to this story on Instapundit (yes, again) this morning, but an email from reader Lee made me read the story a bit closer. I admit I missed it the first time, too.

Prof. Reynold’s excerpt goes:

On one wall of the plaza is a sculpture of a lunch counter with several people sitting at it. It’s so very life-like that in nice weather people routinely sit down on the empty stools to eat their lunches at the counter. There is no plaque to explain the sculpture.

It’s a story about the Wichita, Kansas drugstore lunch counter where, in 1958, groups of black youths sat in protest, day after day waiting to be served. It’s an excellent article.

But Lee notes this as the important part:

The store tried to wait them out by ignoring them. They kept coming back and sitting there, silently, day after day, waiting to be served. On one occasion three police officers tried to coerce and intimidate the teenagers to leave, and succeeded. But they came back, and the police did not return. They were breaking no law, only a store policy, and the store was not willing to challenge them directly.

A group of local white toughs came by trying to intimidate them. The police were called to break it up but left immediately without challenging the whites, saying they had instructions to keep their hands off. After an emergency phone call a group of local black men arrived, armed, to defend the protesters. The white youths retreated, leaving the store.

As Lee said in his email, “Buried near the end of the fifth paragraph is the single word “armed” that is so very important here.” Amen.

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