Just as the cross has inspired millions of Christians to stand up for life, to fight for freedom and to come alongside victims of oppression, there have also been times when the cross has been twisted. And a twisted cross becomes a swastika.
A symbol of love can become a weapon. The icon of redemption can become an instrument of terror.
In his 20s, while a student at the University of Maryland, Aitcheson was charged with making bomb threats, manufacturing pipe bombs, and threatening to kill Coretta Scott King in a letter.
Aitcheson pleaded guilty to several cross burnings, including one in the front yard of an African-American couple in 1977.
“It is our duty as white folks to dismantle white supremacy,” Caine-Conley said. “… People of color, both black and brown bodies, have been absorbing violence since our country was created as our country. Showing up in body to absorb some of that violence and tension ourselves, to put our bodies in places that black and brown people have been for centuries, is really important as we begin to dismantle white supremacy.”
Love recognizes that everyone is an equally beloved child of God and must be treated as such by our words and actions. Love values everyone’s dignity and worth as equal to my own. By contrast, hate rejects another person’s equal value and worth. It sees those who are different from me as less than me in some ways. It creates the conditions for people to be abused and mistreated.
The condemnation came too little, too late, Jewish groups said.
On Feb. 21, President Trump condemned anti-Semitism, as Jewish leaders had been asking him to do for months.
“The President’s sudden acknowledgement is a Band-Aid on the cancer of Anti-Semitism that has infected his own Administration,” said Steven Goldstein, executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, in a statement on Feb. 21 after Trump called anti-Semitism “horrible.”
A report released on Oct. 19 by the Anti-Defamation League does not directly indict Trump for this upswing in anti-Semitism. But it explicitly connects some of his supporters to the hate speech.
“The spike in hate we’ve seen online this election season is extremely troubling and unlike anything we have seen in modern politics,” said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.
If Donald Trump is telling the truth, he only recently learned that David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, is an avowed segregationist. Apparently, the KKK and its history have faded from many white Americans’ memory. Jeffrey Lord argued on national television this week that the Klan is an invention of “the left.” As native sons of the South, we could forgive these men their ignorance. (“Bless their hearts. They ain’t from around here,” is the polite way to say it.) But we can neither forgive nor ignore the way 400 years of white supremacy have been naively reduced to whether a candidate will disavow the support of a hate group leader. Racism lives on in policies that perpetuate racial disparities, with or without the KKK.
Did you know that Oregon was founded as place for white people only?
Yes. Yes, it was.
In a complicated twisting political tale of pre-Civil War American history, enshrined in my state’s constitution were explicit and clear black exclusion laws.
A judge on Nov. 10 issued the death penalty for the white supremacist convicted of shooting to death three people at two Jewish centers in Kansas last year.
Johnson County District Court Judge Thomas Kelly Ryan sentenced Frazier Glenn Cross, 74, to die by lethal injection.
A jury in early September convicted Cross, a former senior member of the Ku Klux Klan, of the murders and recommended that he be put to death. Cross also was convicted of three counts of attempted murder for shooting at three other people.
Saturday marked the 50th anniversary of the senseless slaughter and lynching of civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner during Freedom Summer in Mississippi. They gave their lives to insure that every person in Mississippi would have the right to vote and be a full citizen of this nation. This interracial trio believed with all their hearts that it was worth it to put their bodies on the line for racial justice and dignity, and they paid the ultimate price.
We have come a long way in the last 50 years, but the recent deaths of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis in Florida remind us that much work remains, and that white supremacy may have taken different forms, but it is alive and well. And today, white supremacy operates most powerfully at the subconscious level. And it has to do with an innate feeling of superiority.
Someone didn’t do his research.
On Tuesday, political commenters reported that GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney has been using a catchphrase in his stump speeches that the Ku Klux Klan favored in the 1920s.
When the white supremacist group used “Keep America American,” it was to rally people against blacks American, gay people, Catholics and Jews. When Romney’s used it, as he did in this Los Angeles Times piece, it was to promise that as president he would “keep America American with the principles that made us the greatest nation on Earth.”
Romney’s isn’t the first campaign mishap that came out of a borrowed slogan. While a candidate’s political slogan can be key to an effective campaign — as President Obama’s “Yes We Can” slogan was — many politicians have shown by example how precarious slogans can be if you don’t do your research.
I recently viewed an episode of Gangland on The History Channel. This particular show, which documents the rise of the younger members of the Imperial Klan of America (or KKK), really roused my anger. I thought, "How could people be so ignorant and foolish?" Can't they just accept that the United States has always been an ethnically, religiously, and ideologically diverse country?