Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Birmingham Void

democratic America?

This semester I am dedicating a 30pg research paper to the creation of anti-lynching legislation in Alabama. Who was in favor? Who was opposed to anti-lynching legislation? Was anyone prosecuted for lynching? How did lynching occur in democratic America? These are the questions I hope to answer.

I choke just saying the word "lynching". One cannot find a more savage act in 20th century America. This was not Russia under Stalin or Germany under Hitler. This was America under the Bill of Rights. Yet all avenues of justice were cut off to satisfy animalistic desires of supremacy and calm irrational fears of danger. What it is even more disturbing is the notion that those who performed lynchings had the audacity to praise God the next Sunday with blood stained hands. What are the social and psychological consequences of lynching? How deep are the mental and emotional wounds left by lynchings?

W.E.B. DuBois spoke of a veil between the races in The Soul of Black Folks. In 2006 I see the veil being transformed into a void. There is a void in Birmingham today that has created a gulf between those who don't look alike. I see it everywhere as I walk the streets of downtown. While people of different shades pass in silence, yet strangers of similar pigment great each other like close relatives. I don't mean to say Birmingham is alone in creating the void. The void is being created in most cities across America and sadly in many churches. The void prevents fellow human beings from communicating with each other. The lack of communication allows people to mistake irrational assumptions for truth. If we mistake assumption for truth, then we consequently mistake murder for justice. When we mistake murder for justice, then inevitably we will lynch.

How do we bridge the gulf the act of lynching has helped to create? How do we fill the void? Again the answer can be found in the unconditional love of Jesus Christ who was himself the victim of a Roman lynch mob. If fear, vengeance and hate created the void, then we have to fill it with trust, forgiveness and love. Is it possible to fill the void? Absolutely. If the unconditional love of Jesus Christ can fill the void between us and God, then it is through the same unconditional love that we may one day soon fill the Birmingham void.


Coming Next Week: War Before Education Pt. 2


J-Wild 8:36 PM  

Good post. I can't wait to read the paper.

Daniel Howard 12:01 PM  

Chris, I think this sounds very interesting. I would love to see the paper when you are done.

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