Everyone has images that for inexplicable reasons they find horrific, even if the image does not really endanger them. One of these personal horrors for me is cross burning.
Not the sacrilege or any Christian connection, but that the image represents the high point of racism in a civilized society. The era of popularly supported racism is a segment of human history that needs only be retained to show how bad we once were. The fact that organized racism ever existed makes me sick.
The idea of a secret society with clandestine motives and nasty looking rituals, makes my skin crawl and my blood boil. I cease to think rationally, and given the opportunity, would apply punishments for participants that I would not normally consider even for murders.
At this point in history I thank God that there are a limited number of such crackpots. However, every once in a while, they crawl out of their stinking festering holes and remind us that humans were once (not long ago) intolerant jack-asses. (see CNN Article below)
Rationally, I would support someone’s right to be wrong, but in the face of intolerance and hate, the ability to be rational is overcome by anger. It is hard to look into the face of racism without wanting to kick its teeth in.
Cross burnings investigated in North Carolina
DURHAM, North Carolina (AP) — Three large crosses were burned in separate spots around the city during a span of just over an hour, and yellow fliers with Ku Klux Klan sayings were found at one location, police said.
The cross burnings Wednesday night marked the first time in recent memory that one of the South’s most notorious symbols of racial hatred has been seen in the city.”At this day and time, I thought we’d be beyond that,” said Mayor Bill Bell. “People do things for different reasons, and I don’t have the slightest idea why anyone would do this.”
The first burning was reported at 9:19 p.m. outside St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. The next came at 9:54 p.m. atop a large pile of dirt near an apartment complex construction site; the third was at 10:28 p.m. at a downtown intersection. Police said each cross was about 7 feet tall and 4 feet wide and made of four 2-by-4s. They were wrapped in burlap and doused in a liquid that smelled like kerosene.
Burning a cross without the permission of the property owner is a misdemeanor in North Carolina. However, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that, under the First Amendment, cross burning could be barred only when done with the intent to intimidate.
Cross burnings have been associated with the Ku Klux Klan since the early 20th century. The first known cross burning occurred when a Georgia mob celebrated a lynching, according to the high court decision.
Bell said he couldn’t recall a cross burning in Durham since he arrived in 1968. He said his office had not received any correspondence suggesting someone might target the city with cross burnings.