a) Invitation content
Rightmyer invited people to the first Roundup by calling his friends at various ATF offices. When he decided to expand the Roundup the following year to include state and local law enforcement, he prepared fliers announcing the event. We obtained copies of these fliers for 1984, 1986, 1993, 1994, and 1995 [/ Copies of each of these invitations appear in the appendix to this report, Section C, at 27 et seq. ] Each of these invitations indicated who was invited, including "ATF agents, judges, other
federal agents, prosecutors, state and local officers, friends, neighbors and any other 'Good O' Boy' who wants to attend."
None of the five written invitations obtained by OIG contained any explicit reference to race or any allusion to it. [/ The 1984 invitation explicitly excluded women. The 1986 invitation removed the exclusion of women but restricted attendance to persons 21 years old or older. By 1993, the only explicit limit on attendees listed on the flier was that "new non-law enforcement attendees must be sponsored by a law enforcement officer who attends the Roundup." While this rule had actually been in place from the earliest Roundups, enforcement of this rule appears to have been lax during a number of years in the late 1980s. In recent years, after a period of years in which non-law enforcement attendance had risen dramatically, the rule began to be enforced again with non-law enforcement attendees being required to identify on their application their law enforcement sponsor. After attending one Roundup, however, that person became a "Good O' Boy" and could continue to attend without any particular sponsorship. ] For the other years, OIG interviewed literally hundreds of invitees, all of whom said that race was not mentioned on any of the written invitations either to exclude anyone from attending or to describe the activities that would be offered, expected, or tolerated.
Those who had only been orally invited to attend the Roundup mentioned being told that the event involved camping, whitewater rafting, drinking beer, and a range of sporting competitions. Some were told it was an opportunity to "let their hair down" or that they could "run around naked" if they wanted to. We found no one, including those who decided not to attend, who recalled being offered an opportunity to engage in racist behavior or to be in an all-white environment. As we discussed previously, however, some persons viewed the name of the event, which appeared prominently on the invitation, as sending an implicitly exclusionary message. Although the totality of the evidence suggested that no such message was intended, it also demonstrated that such a message was what some minorities received.