On Sept. 15, 1963, hate blew-up the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Al. It was Birmingham’s fourth bombing in four weeks.
Four little girls were murdered in a terrorist attack perpetrated by white, American men.
It’s too easy to simply blame the Ku Klux Klan, shake our head sadly, and overlook the reality of the racism that ignited the fuse.
The deaths aren’t history. They are current events. Racism rampant in 1963 is still alive and well today.
Racist-in-Chief Donald Trump was 17-years-old when the explosion shattered so many innocent lives.
Ten years later the federal government sued Trump for being a racist. “In October 1973, the Civil Rights Division filed a lawsuit against Trump Management Company, Donald Trump and his father Fred Trump, alleging that African-Americans and Puerto Ricans were systematically excluded from apartments.”
The Birmingham church bombings came just months after Martin Luther King, Jr. was arrested for protesting in the city and wrote, “But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before.”
“If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust.”
Humanity has the capacity for evil — to blow up churches. To turn blind eyes to suffering. To excuse racism.
But humanity is blessed with the divine calling to demand justice and love mercy. To stand up for others, the way Christ taught us to.
Churches and the good people in them must stand up for the victims and stand up to racists or rightfully be condemned as irrelevant hypocrites.
Now is the time to stand up for today’s victims in the spirit of those murdered long ago.
Racists must be confronted and justice must be expected.
All victims of bigotry deserve nothing less.
(Portions of this article originally appeared here: “A Blood Red Line of Racism Flows Through the United States.)