In what turned out to be nothing more than a three-minute verbal assault against the mayor and city commission Monday night, Historic City News listened closely as Gainesville resident Ronald Rawls, Jr.; an overbearing man whose wife was recently elected to the Alachua County Court bench, delivered some more threatening words.
Rawls has been wearing an ecclesiastical collar at the African Methodist Episcopal church on Martin L King Avenue in St Augustine for several years, even though his actions only amount to thuggery and an unbridled hatred for white residents; the hallmark of an “angry black man”. He has a fondness for calling other blacks “coon” and “uncle tom” if they don’t step in line to his unilaterally racist view of the world.
Rawls has suffered a bur in his saddle since October 2017, and a dwindling base of mostly Caucasian lesbians and gay students from Jacksonville, because he didn’t like the city commission’s unanimous vote to keep the Ladies Memorial Association’s Confederate cenotaph in the Plaza de la Constitution.
During a few marches over the past year-and-a-half and demonstrations in the tourist district, self-proclaimed by Rawls as a move to “disrupt business as usual”, like the Pied Piper he has whipped up his inflammatory rhetoric, but little else.
“I want to warn this commission, that it’s smart to pay attention to trends and behaviors and learn from them. You all have a spokesperson who controls the gavel in this meeting that’s motivated by votes and will do anything to chase a vote. Who will throw anybody under a bus to chase a vote. Has no loyalty to her word, is committed to chasing votes and not principles and humanity,” Rawls said, burning up his three minutes of public comment time.
However, as he spoke these words Monday night, he could be committing a hate crime. Rawls said, “This city is going to get turned upside down. It’s a sanctuary city for white supremacy with a very racist culture. You all have an opportunity to look at your history, look at your past, look at what you’ve done, who you’ve listened to, and correct some wrongs. If not, just be prepared for a lot of headaches in what could be a beautiful town.”
Rawls concluded his remarks without incident.