Monday, February 27, 2006

Birmingham Today

Despite what I said in the previous post - I just looked at the Birmngham News' newly published civil rights era photos. So I am posting after all.

I look at those images and think that the people working non-violently for rights, for opportunity, for justice . . . won technically, but I am afraid that looking at Birmingham today, they really lost.

Bigotry and prejudice are always inventive, and ways were found to comply with the changes in law but to keep the evil going. New legal ways were crafted to separate blacks and whites, for the whites to hold onto wealth, and to leave blacks in poverty.

Here in the great "Christian" south where some champion putting the ten commandments front and center, we still fail miserably to do right by our neighbors. Some southerners will resent my assertion, but then you only have to go outside this area to see what life is like where racial prejudice does not continue to profoundly shape society.

To be fair, prejudice exists everywhere -it was Polacks when I lived in Iowa, wogs and aborigines in Australia, wetbacks in Texas . . . but there is something more prevalent where the separation continues in systemic ways.

What the bigots don't realize is that when any of us are impoverished, it affects us all. We are all poorer. You don't get ahead by stepping on others . . . you only sink down by trying to push them down.


A said...

I am glad you posted anyway, even though you said you wren't going to. I enjpy reading your perspective on things like this.

Ken Haynes said...

Appreciate the post...

Vicki Sullivan said...

thanks...few are willing to be so honest. Your courage is admirable. Evil is systematic. When I say this people react like I've thrown acid on them. Your comment was filled with gentle sorrow.

betsy2b said...

Terrifying to think I am an integral part of the system. How much have I contributed to this? Even by just being who, what and where I am? Very sobering.
Thanks Greg.