August 3, 2015 Leave a comment
Pattern or Practice peels the veneer off that shoddy pretense and provides a stark view of what institutionalized racism looks like. a small Midwestern town, once a manufacturing powerhouse, is a backsliding, post-industrial community with a race problem so pervasive that disbelief is nearly always the observer’s first reaction. By the time the final credits are rolling, that disbelief is replaced by anger, disgust, perhaps shame and hopefully a desire for change.
Pattern or Practice features restaurant bar owners who had their licenses and businesses taken by city elected officials. The footage includes interviews with business owners who, with their own words and emotions, outline the abuse and harassment they experienced at the hands of the city. The film uses documentation from actual committee meetings, network news casts and articles that ran in the local newspaper.
The title, Pattern or Practice, comes from the Justice Department term meaning: pattern of discrimination that has been conducted against a group of persons or an issue of general public importance. The film focuses on the practice of selective legal enforcement that is enabled by a passive public perception of “I’m glad it’s not me”. County Supervisor and owner of the local black newspaper, Ken Lumpkin, states “I was raised in Montgomery Alabama during the marches for freedom with Dr. King and thought this type of activity was dead.”