WEIR ONLY HUMAN: The Nature of Prejudice By BOB WEIR

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Weir_BobEleven year-old Carol Denise McNair laughed
playfully with her 3 older friends, fourteen year-olds Cynthia Wesley, Addie
Mae Collins and Carole Robertson, as they headed to church on Sunday.  Wearing their prettiest dresses and shiniest
shoes, they giggled and joked with each other the way most children their age
will do. But they were not like most children. There was something about them
that was instantly noticeable. It wasn’t their clothing, their demeanor or
their sense of humor, or even their body language, for they were, in every
reasonable sense of the term, just 4 little girls enjoying life. But this was
Birmingham, Alabama in 1963, and those 4 little innocent children were guilty
of the worst possible crime; they had a dark pigmentation in their skin.

That meant constant abuse and humiliation from their
fair skinned counterparts. It meant drinking out of water fountains that read:
colored only; it meant sitting in the back of the bus, even if there were empty
seats up front; it meant being refused service in many white-owned restaurants;
and it meant a constant reinforcement of the notion that they were inferior to
the dominant race that controlled the power structure. Such an environment
would create a sad and hopeless situation for even the most positive of
thinkers. Yet, African-Americans, even in the Deep South, held on to their
sanity by forming their own groups, businesses, and churches.  They formed large congregations that huddled
together regularly for religious instruction and they sought a better future
through faith in God.

However, the antithesis of that faith thrived in the
pernicious wasteland of evil minds. Not satisfied with the daily assault on the
sensibilities of the second-class citizens under their dominion, some lowlife
creatures planned even more horrifying consequences for their social and
psychological captives. Try to imagine being the parents of those four black
children on September 15, 1963. When you sent your little girls to church that
Sunday morning, you had every reason to expect that they were in the safest
place on Earth. Yes, the ugly face of racism was an omnipresent reality. BUT,
CHILDREN WOULD BE SAFE IN CHURCH. Yes, the merciless crunch of bigotry was a
constant reminder of the dreadful circumstances under which you must live. BUT
NOT IN CHURCH!  Yes, even the governor of
your state proudly proclaimed that your children had no right to attend school
with white children. BUT, SURELY THEY ARE SAFE IN CHURCH!

The church was the last hope for those with nowhere
else to turn for salvation. On that gruesome Sunday, when those children were
worshipping in the safety and sanctity of the 16th Street Baptist
Church
, bigotry reached an all time low. The monstrous explosion that took
their lives tore at the conscience of all decent Americans and exposed, like
never before, the malevolent nature of prejudice. Sadly, it took a tragedy of
that magnitude to make people pay attention to the inhumanity in their midst. Today, September 15, is the 50th anniversary
of that disgraceful day in our history. It took many years before the savage
murderers were forced to confront the charges. Herman Cash died before being
indicted, while another suspect, Robert “Dynamite Bob” Chambliss was convicted
in 1977 and died in prison in 1985. The third and fourth members of the
subhuman quartet, Thomas Blanton, and Bobby Frank Cherry were convicted in 2001
and 2002 respectively, and
were sentenced to life terms. Life terms? Is that justice? They gave death to 4 little innocent girls and our
system gave them life? Cherry died in prison in 2004. Hopefully, all 3 of the
aforementioned are serving for eternity in the hottest corner of Hell. Blanton is 83 and
still in prison.   

The Scriptures tell us that we should forgive our enemies
and pray for them. Sorry! I’m not going to forgive or pray for people who use
bombs to kill children. Nor am I going to pray for people who dedicate their
lives to killing, maiming, or abusing people because of the color of their
skin, their religious beliefs, their sexual preferences, or their closely held
opinions. That level of forgiveness is the exclusive province of God. Instead,
I’ll pray for the souls of the 4 young spirits whose lives were snuffed out by
the demented nature of prejudice. May they rest in peace.

Bob Weir is a veteran of 20 years with the New York Police Dept. (NYPD), ten of which were performed in plainclothes undercover
assignments. Bob began a writing career about 12 years ago and had his first
book published in 1999.  Bob went on to write and publish a total of seven
novels, “Murder in Black and White,” “City to Die For,” “Powers that Be,”
“Ruthie’s Kids,” “Deadly to Love,” “Short Stories of
Life and Death,” and “Out of Sight.” He
also became a syndicated columnist under the title “Weir Only Human.”

eHeziWEIR ONLY HUMAN: The Nature of Prejudice By BOB WEIR

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