Scandal in a Tennessee Cemetery

     JACKSBORO, Tenn. (CN) – A Tennessee cemetery fired two gravediggers for refusing to disinter black corpses so the cemetery could sell the plots and fill them with white bodies, the men claim in court.
     Edward and Kenneth Taylor sued the Baker’s Forge Cemetery, Coolidge Baptist Church, Cedar Hill Baptist Church, Demory Baptist Church, and eight trustees and operators of the cemetery, in Campbell County Chancery Court.
     The Taylors claim they were instructed to disinter bodies – which is a felony in Tennessee – but refused, and were fired for it.
     “For example, plaintiffs were directed to desecrate and disinter the grave of Jennie Irwin Baker, Grave no. 240-145, in order to bury Alvis Buck Cantrell next to his wife, who had previously been buried in Grave No. 240-144 on top of Geo. W. Baker, according to the permanent records of the cemetery,” the complaint states.
     “In addition, the permanent records of the cemetery contain two pages designated as the ‘colored section (Negro).’
     “[Defendant] Bob Housley would refer to the corpses buried in the ‘colored section (Negro)’ as ‘niggers.’
     “Bob Housley joked that all plaintiffs would find when he disinterred those graves was ‘black dirt.'” (Parentheses, but not brackets, in complaint.)
     The Taylors claim that Housley’s plan to dig up the bodies in the “Negro” section of the cemetery was part of “an unlawful scheme and plan to resell to white persons the gravesites designated in the permanent records of the cemetery as the ‘colored section (Negro).'”
     “Plaintiffs had been directed and refused to sell these occupied gravesites,” the Taylors say in the complaint.
     They say that “on or about July 27, 2012, plaintiffs were terminated purportedly for ‘insubordination’ for refusing to engage in or perform these illegal activities.”
     They seek compensatory damages of $250,000 for wrongful termination.
     They are represented by David Wigler of Knoxville.

%d bloggers like this: