Environmental Racism; or Simple Black Fragility?

Fayetteville, N.C. – Yet again, a Fayetteville business, the Fay Block Materials, suffers falsehoods, misrepresentations and lies of omission leveled against against them by a Fayetteville Observer race card waving opinion slinger, Myron Pitts.

Pitts makes the attempt to paint Fay Block Materials as a villainous arch enemy of Black people who are represented as poor put upon, abused individuals solely because of their race.

And who is Pitts to be talking about how Blacks are treated or racism anyway? Is Pitts trying to make up for the transgression of his own ancestors?

The truth of the matter is that the only victim in this issue is Fay Block Materials. The Fay Block Materials owes no one an apology. They simply have nothing to be sorry for in this issue.

One of Pitts’ continuing failures is to start his reporting in the ‘middle’ of an issue rather than at the ‘beginning’ of an issue. Pitts likes to start in the middle of an issue and gloss over anything that doesn’t adhere to his agenda to see racism in every aspect of Fayetteville’s community.

Nothing could be farther from the truth about Fayetteville. Fayetteville has been a post-racial community for quite a number of years now. This is why Pitts tries so very hard to reintroduce and bring back a Black victimization that clearly doesn’t exist anymore.

The ‘beginning’ in this issue starts when Fay Block Materials was started. Fay Block Materials, Inc. was established in 1945 and remains a family-owned manufacturer and supplier of concrete masonry and other hardscape and landscape materials. They are now in their fourth generation of ownership and operation by the Allen family. Why is this important to know?

Let’s take a look at a map of Fayetteville, N.C. from the 1940s. A map from 1945 couldn’t be located but this 1948 map was discovered online. Now, just who is encroaching on who? There was no George St. in 1948.

The Allens made the decision to start and build their business outside of Fayetteville and in an area that had no houses. They clearly chose the unpopulated side of Ramsey St. It was years later that others made the decision to build their homes around the Allen’s business.









The only streets in that area were Wall St. and Mary St. According to Cumberland County property records;

1018 George St., didn’t appear until 1951.
1012 George St., 1951.
1020 George St., 1969.
105 Mary St., 1956.
107 Mary St., 1955.

By now, it should be obvious to you that it was the home builders that encroached on Fay Block Materials.

Fay Block Materials never encroached on anybody as Pitts tries to suggest. Quite simply, Fay Block Materials was there first!


On June 6, 2024, TPTN received information from one of our readers, JW Schrecker. It appears that there were three houses in the immediate area prior to 1945. Here’s the email that we received;

I contacted the Cumberland County library and received the following information


Joseph Westendorf Jun 06 2024, 12:47 PM via System

Good news-I’ve found more information! In the 1940s, for a time Mary street was called Meredith street, and the two extensions that became Albert and George streets were called Weber and Poplar. I’ve attached Sanborn map clippings of the area that show Mary street in 1930, where there was nothing in the area, and 1950, when Weber and Poplar now existed with some houses along them.

In 1954, Meredith changed it’s name back to Mary (it had been called Mary before it became Meredith), and 1954 was when both Albert street and Byrd street started showing up in the city directories. Before 1954, it appears that Albert and Byrd street did not exist (Albert/Weber was not listed in the city directory before then). This is confirmed by the Tax Admin site which strongly suggests that there was no house on Byrd street before then. George street did have houses before 1945: 1015 George street has a home that was built in 1940, and 1011 George Street has a home that was built in 1942. Albert street (used to be Weber) had a house that was built in 1944, though it did not become Albert street in the city directory until 1954 (was probably not really a street until then). Today that house is still there. The Sanborn map from around 1950 confirms this, by showing multiple dwellings along what is now Albert and George street. Before 1945, it looks like there were 3 homes in that area.

With all three streets, some of the houses all seemed to be built in the early 50s, which explains why the streets probably didn’t appear in the local city directory until then-there wasn’t enough there before to justify a street with a street name until then. So Albert and Byrd street seemed to have officially been created in 1954, and George Street sometime before that. Let me know if you have any more questions. Sincerely, Joseph Westendorf


  • 1011 George St. – Anthony Blue – Deed: 03/26/2015
  • 1015 George St. – Deborah D. Blue – Deed: 07/30/1991
  • 1010 Albert St. – Debrah/Winston Hall – Deed: 04/04/2021

Since Fay Block Materials were there before the 1949 zoning laws were enacted, they’re still grandfathered in and have violated no zoning laws.

As you wrote in your article: Grandfather Clause: This is a provision in which an old rule continues to apply to some existing situations while a new rule will apply to all future cases. Zoning Law: A common example is in zoning regulations where existing buildings or land uses that do not conform to new zoning laws are allowed to continue operating under the old regulations. These are known as “nonconforming uses.”

Fay Block Materials STILL owes no one any apologies and are not in any way responsible for the comfort of those foolhardy enough to build, buy, rent after 1949. As for the three existing houses, I’m pretty sure that the original occupants are long dead or moved on and those who are there now STILL have no legitimate complaint against Fay Block Materials as they STILL came after Fay Block Materials legitimately established themselves in 1945.

The land that is Fay Block Materials quite obviously has remained in the Allen family for four continuous generations. But the same can’t be said for the three houses that are said to predate 1945. It appears that they were originally part of property owned by Mary Williams, and the current deed holders seem to have no familial connection to Mary Williams.

So when the property and houses passed out of Williams’ control, so did any claim to “first in time, first in right”. The Allens’ do still have a legitimate claim to “first in time, first in right” because of an unbroken chain of familial custody of their property. So, all the naysayers and complainers are still wrong.

Fay Block Materials still has no responsibility for any aid or comfort of the nearby residents.

~JW Schrecker

Common sense dictates that if you build right next to an airport, then airplanes are going to fly over your house. If you build next to a swamp, then mosquitoes are going to be in your yard. If you build next to a bar, then there’s going to be loud music until 2:00 am. If you build a house next to a farm, then there’s going to be dust in your house when they plow. The legal concept is ‘caveat emptor’; the axiom or principle in commerce that the buyer alone is responsible for assessing the quality of a purchase before buying.

So, how can these home owners complain that there’s dust, when they build their house (or brought, rented one) right next to a business that makes concrete blocks?

And how can Pitts make a claim that it’s ‘racist’? Fay Block Materials certainly never gave any thought at all regarding who was stupid enough to build a house right next to them regardless of their skin color. They figured it was none of their business. Fay Block Materials had no input or control over who built what on property that was not their own property.

Who’s responsible for the dust in their homes? Why, the home owner’s are. If they chose to build or buy right next to a business already established in the area, then the onus falls on them to institute controls on their property to improve their quality of life at their expense.

Does it matter that Fay Block Materials was there first? Well, of course it does. It matters a lot. In the real world there are firsts and lasts. There is an order to things that can’t be ignored. The latest silliness labeled ‘equity’, an expectation that everyone end up the same, doesn’t survive reality. We all have equality in opportunities but none of have the guarantee that we all end up the same. That’s on the residents, the level of common sense they put into their decisions, and the level of effort they put into their futures. If they make bad decisions, then they shouldn’t expect to be happy. And certainly shouldn’t expect others to give up their hard work and money just to alleviate their slow-wittedness.

Concepts like “being first” and “grandfathered-in” are indeed contained in legal doctrine, often under specific principles and rules that govern their application.

  1. “Being First”:
    1. Priority Principle: This is a fundamental concept in various areas of law, particularly in property law and intellectual property law.
      Property Law: The rule of “first in time, first in right” often applies. For example, in the case of land claims, the person who first claims and registers the property generally has the superior right to it.
    2. Intellectual Property: In patent law, the first person to file a patent application is typically granted the rights to the invention (in jurisdictions following the “first to file” system).
  2. “Grandfathered-In”:
    1. Grandfather Clause: This is a provision in which an old rule continues to apply to some existing situations while a new rule will apply to all future cases.
      1. Zoning Law: A common example is in zoning regulations where existing buildings or land uses that do not conform to new zoning laws are allowed to continue operating under the old regulations. These are known as “nonconforming uses.”
      2. Employment and Retirement Law: Employees who were hired under an old benefits plan might be allowed to continue receiving benefits under that plan even after new employees are subject to a different plan.

These concepts help balance the interests of fairness, stability, and legal consistency, ensuring that new laws and regulations do not unjustly disrupt existing rights and expectations.

Four generations of the Allen family, through hard work and common sense decisions, have ensured that they were successful. No one now has the right to demand that they stifle their business operations simply because others made bad decisions about where to build their homes.

Cumberland County, North Carolina, didn’t begin implementing zoning regulations until 1960. This move was part of a broader effort to manage land use and development more effectively as the county grew and urbanized.

Fayetteville, North Carolina, adopted its first zoning ordinance in 1949. This was supposed to be a significant step in managing urban growth and development, ensuring that land use within the city was organized and regulated to promote orderly development and prevent conflicts between different types of land use.

Since Fay Block Materials was already established in the area the surrounding land clearly should have been zoned commercial and not residential. Why wasn’t it? Was the prospect of more immediate tax income for the city from residential homes more appealing than waiting for commercial development?

Wall Street and Mary Street in Fayetteville, North Carolina, were part of an annexation in 1949. This annexation was one of several in the post-World War II era as Fayetteville expanded to accommodate its growing population and urban development needs. So, now it’s clear that George St. (1951), Byrd St., Albert St., Blueberry Place (1972), all came after the establishment of Fay Block Materials and because of this they have no legitimate complaint about their living conditions. They brought it on themselves through their bad decisions.

Fay Block Materials is far more a positive to the Fayetteville community than a negative as unethically portrayed by Pitts. Fay Block Materials provides more than 68 good paying jobs in this area to Fayetteville’s citizens. Fay Block Materials provides a catalog of hundreds of pavers, blocks and stones for any project one can think of at significantly lower prices that only a local company can provide. This translates into better quality homes and lower housing costs than other areas because of Fay Block Materials being a local company.

Frogs and cats?

When reading the Pitts opinion one should ask themselves; Why the cat story? It doesn’t add anything to the issue at hand.

But it does do something to those who’re weak minded when reading the opinion. It is a devious underhanded device used by Pitts intended to place the reader into an emotional state where Pitts can then more easily manipulate you into thinking you should pity those oh so poor put upon residents. Poor, poor kitty, losing lives is supposed to equate to poor, poor residents, losing lives. Balderdash, poppycock, and folderol! What nonsense. Reject this emotional diarrhea Pitts is subjecting you to and embrace the sanity of logical common sense and propriety.

The frog story is nothing more than projection on the part of Pitts and the residents. They are trying to portray Fay Block Materials as doing to them what they are in fact doing to Fay Block Materials. The residents are hoping that if they “gradually turn up the temperature” against Fay Block Materials that they will just lay down and die for them.

The residents think that all they have to do is use the color of their skin to gin up the false and misleading perception that they are the many who’re being abused by the one. They think that by using ‘democracy’, the rule of the many, that they can force Fay Block Materials to bow to their collective bidding. What these residents forget is that in the United States and the great State of North Carolina we’re not a democracy, but rather a Constitutional Republic, and operate on the rule of law.

Fay Block Materials, like their products, is extremely durable and not prone to chipping, cracking, or the pressure of their surroundings. They can easily weather the attacks of the surrounding residents because Fay Block Materials has done no wrong. Again, I remind you, they were there first.

The only thing that Allens’ and Fay Block Materials are guilty of is being an American success story that has made significant contributions to the Fayetteville community.

Now take a look at these encroaching residents and Pitts. What have they contributed to this community other than racial animosity, demands that all of us coddle them and fix the results of their bad decisions in life.

There’s a reason the residents are powerless to win. It’s because they’re in the wrong. Neither the Fay Block Materials nor the city of Fayetteville tax payers owe these residents any kind of recompence. They chose to live there and it’s up to them to make the best of it or move somewhere else. It’s not Fay Block Material’s problem and it never was. Remember, you start at the beginning and in the beginning Fay Block Material was there first. You don’t get to come into the picture afterwards and start making demands of others if you don’t like where your bad decision led you.

Andrew Bryant Built his house at 1020 George St in 1969, twenty-four (24) years after the Allens had established and built Fay Block Materials in the area. And now Bryant wants to complain? It’s not like he didn’t know that Fay Block Materials was there first. Bryant chose to build next to Fay Block Materials.

Felice Lockamy? She doesn’t own any structures in the area so presumably she’s a renter. This means that she chooses to live there and rented there knowing that Fay Block Materials was in the area first. If she doesn’t like the area then she can simply rent elsewhere.

What should be done to solve this issue? There’s more than one direction to this. Pitts would have you think that Fay Block Materials should bow to the home owners and renters that, as we’ve proven, are encroaching on the Allens and Fay Block Materials.

But, the more proper and fair path to resolve this is to condemn the surrounding residences that should never have been allowed to build in an area that had already been pre-established as a commercial area by Fay Block Materials, Inc prior to the creation of any zoning laws. Fayetteville should never have zoned any part of that area residential in the first place. But I suppose that greed for tax dollars was just as prevalent back then as it is today.

Fay Block Materials is quite simply grandfathered in whereas the home owners or renters are not. Condemn the surrounding residences and properly rezone the area as commercial. In this way, the complainers would be forced to chose locations that are more suitable to their liking and Fay Block Materials would be able to expand their operations appropriately as they should have been allowed to do in the first place had it not been for the encroaching residential builders.

Don’t forget, we are not a ‘democracy’ where a large number of whiners and complainers get their way because of their color of skin and numbers. We’re a Constitutional Republic where the rule of law is adhered to and legal concepts like ‘being first’, ‘grandfathered-in’, and ‘caveat emptor’ takes precedence over “Waaaaaa, I made a mistake and now you have to give in to me”!




3 thoughts on “Environmental Racism; or Simple Black Fragility?

  • Thanks for the information. Great story.

    • You’re welcome, sir. We just thought it important that the whole truth be given to our readers so that they can make a better informed decision about this issue. We believe that the kind of racist yellow journalism practiced by Myron Pitts against businesses in the Fayetteville, Cumberland County, area should not go unchallenged. You can help by posting our article on your social media like Facebook, Twitter and others.

  • Great history lesson and civics lesson as well. Very interesting.


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