Thirteen race-baiting followers of Ronald Rawls Jr, the majority of whom were identified by Historic City News as out-of-town residents, marched through the shoppers and visitors on St George Street Saturday September 22nd, screaming black nationalist chants and hurling invectives at innocent bystanders.
They stopped in front of The Bunnery; a restaurant on St George Street where they protested a former employee who came to work last Halloween dressed in a homemade costume of the Aunt Jemima character that included the use of black theatrical greasepaint to cover her face.
Flagler College professor Michael Butler, who would later serve as one of city manager John Regan’s handpicked “contextualization committee” members, and dozens of Flagler students descended on the popular local restaurant to strike, picket and direct potential patrons of the establishment to other “non-racist” breakfast and lunch choices. The restaurant has since been sold and the employee no longer works there, but to Rawls, it is holy ground.
They made a stop near the Spanish Constitution monument as they denounced the confederate memorial on the other side of the gazebo in the Plaza. Although St Augustine Police officers were on the scene to provide escort, with at least one motorcycle patrolman, several uniformed officers on foot, and at least 4-6 bicycle officers, the marchers did not encircle the object of their hatred; a nearly 150-year-old obelisk honoring more than 40 local confederate veterans who lost their lives in combat during the American Civil War. Their bodies were never returned home for burial.
Neither did the baker’s dozen from Gainesville, Jacksonville and other cities, protest at another of their favorite haunts, the Market on the Plaza de la Constitucion. They repeatedly refer to the oldest continuously available public market of European origin in the United States as the “Slave Market”; despite conjecture that slaves were regularly bought and sold there is suspect and highly disputed by archivists and historians.